I've been thinking about freedom a lot lately (wonder why?) and what it truly is and means to me. I've spoken to many, many people lately who seem to think that "freedom" means "able to do whatever I want without consequences." It's really frustrating, speaking to these people online, trying to get them to realize that that idea is truly and wholly false.
Freedom isn't free. And I'm not referencing wars and lives lost in that statement, although I am so grateful to every person past and present who has fought, and in many cases died, to preserve the freedoms of our country and our safety. What I'm meaning here, is the personal price we pay ourselves.
Freedom is the ability to act in one's own best interest. The personal price for this ability is responsibility. Responsibility to accept the consequences our actions produce, responsibility to work for our own needs, responsibility to give up those things we want when it would bring harm to someone else. The only way we can truly not be inhibited when we chose to live out our lives is to control our lives, to not act on every impulse and/or desire. To control our reactions (emotional and otherwise) when someone else's agency to act interferes with our plans and/or hurts us.
True freedom is the ability to act and not be acted upon.
So that's what I'm working toward. I admit I do a fair share of reacting rather than acting. I allow circumstances to dictate in many occasions rather than stepping up and taking control of myself and my life. But I'm working on it. I hope that one day, I can truly be free.