What Does Freedom Mean to You?

“Freedom is the open window through which pours the sunlight of the human spirit and human dignity.” 

-- Herbert Hoover

The other day, someone asked me what freedom meant to me. I wish I would have had something as eloquent to say as Herbert Hoover. To be honest, I didn’t have an answer right away. I struggled to come up with the words to define this concept that, as it turns out, was pretty vague in my mind.

I was born and raised in the United States of America -- “Land of the Free”. And even though freedom was a concept that was discussed throughout my life and taught in school, I still couldn’t quite come up with an answer to the question, “What does freedom mean to me?”.

That experience inspired the content of this blog post. To help me in my quest to better understand the concept of freedom, I searched the words of some of the great spiritual and political leaders of our world:

“Without freedom, creativity cannot flourish. The right to freedom is crucial to progress in any society; and the context is having a sense of global responsibility.”

 --Dalai Lama

"For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others."

--Nelson Mandela

Freedom is about creativity, social progress, and global responsibility. Freedom involves respecting others - their beliefs, and their rights.

I asked my friend who is from Ukraine - a country that has not always been free, and still is not totally free now - what freedom means to him. He said, “To be free is to be the one who actually controls your own mind. To be the one who deliberately operates with the very center of the point of your own attention”.

Reading these inspiring words from world leaders and discussing the concept with my friend and few other people helped me to better understand what freedom means to me.

I think that freedom is what makes it possible for us to be our best selves. When we have freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and when we are free from oppression and discrimination, we can be more true to ourselves, and we can have more confidence in our ability to do things that inspire us and make a positive impact in the world.

To sum it all up, I love what Abraham Lincoln said:

“Freedom is the last, best hope of earth.”

If you’ve read this all the way through, thank you for your time! We’d love to hear what freedom means to you. Tag us @ricelovebags on Instagram in a post about freedom for a chance to be featured on our page or in our story!

Much love,

Amy Rawlings

Rice Love