As we get closer to this month wrapping up, I have been thinking about the topic that opened this month: freedom. It’s a topic we all crave, we certainly talk about having freedoms or wanting more freedoms. There is a balance to be found between structure and freedom, between limits and freedom though, because we’re not alone in this world. Part of that structure and those limits have to deal with the other people that we share this planet with. These are people that we not only share space and air with, they’re people who we impact with our decisions and the way we live.
Each of us define freedom and what we want for freedoms differently. You may want the freedom to eat pizza every day or marry the person you want to marry or just stay home with your kids and not work or get a divorce or quit/change your job or take a vacation every year or order whatever you want on the menu and not worry about price. Freedom means different things to different people, the question that has to be addressed is regarding our freedoms vs. the freedoms of others.
Can we accept what others want as freedoms? What about the freedom to hunt? Can we accept it as long as they’re respectful of the animals and the rules, aren’t wasteful and do their part to help the species thrive? What about relationships that have messy lines? Can we accept someone loving someone of the same sex or more than one person at the same time or more than one person throughout their life or not wanting to be in a relationship at all?
No, we may never understand why people want the freedoms that they want. We certainly won’t claim to want all the freedoms that others want. But with a little patience, good communication (not arguments or laying down the law), and respect for others and their beliefs, I believe we can all have at least some of the freedoms we desire. Why is this important? Because sometimes we judge, block, fight and criticize what we don’t understand, especially if we think there’s wrongdoing or hurt happening, or we think the freedom will be destructive in the future. And sometimes that is the truth, which is why it’s important to talk about our freedoms and desires and go into them with eyes wide open as well as a willingness to hear others out before passing judgement or just journeying into a freedom without considering the costs.