“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
“The only freedom which deserves the name is that of pursuing our own good, in our own way, so long as we do not attempt to deprive others of theirs, or impede their efforts to obtain it.” John Stuart Mill
“People are like dirt. They can either nourish you and help you grow as a person or they can stunt your growth and make you wilt and die.” Plato
Most of us desire freedom in a variety of ways. We like a voice within the family and at the workplace. We enjoy choosing the types of recreation we love and vacations that inspire and or entertain us. Of course with so many others wanting the same things it leaves us with the necessity of compromising. Even if that goes against the grain we are generally coerced into such situations. In this respect our freedom is technically compromised.
Likely it is the right thing to do if we are in any kind of relationship unless we take separate vacations. Restaurant picks can be alternated or a mutual agreed upon compromise may be chosen. With kids involved we must take the time for input from them. Depending on the age of the kids it is usually easy to convince them in our decision. As they mature it might become more difficult. Hence we find it easier to have freedom when we are single or even without children.The importance of freedom is so ingrained that at times we dwell too much on it and tolerate our compromises as if we were injured. This perhaps leads to anger, fighting and possibly retaliation from our partner’s differing opinion. Likely we should think about the separation of freedom from simply compromising. We have so intertwined the two that anything less than our way makes us want to send the opposing entity packing for the highway. Maybe that is a little dramatic but I have witnessed those people who defend their rights.
I believe it is important to view this issue because we have become a society of me and my and mine. It doesn’t leave room for us and we and they. I like, enjoy and appreciate my freedom as well as anyone but at times we can get mixed up in what we should argue for and when we should defer to someone else. It is compassionate and empathetic to think of others. Somehow a person who is empathetic can be viewed as a pushover or someone who doesn’t really know what they want so anything will please them.
Perhaps being a doormat is an unpopular way to be and I would not encourage that but I do respect those individuals who honestly desire something else or something more than what they get. I think they see it as how much it means to others to have what they want so they give in and place the needs of others first. It should make us reflect on our fairness with others. Just because the majority at work want things one way doesn’t mean we always have to keep it that way. Perhaps we could switch it up once in a while.
It makes it necessary for us to pay more attention to others and their wants and needs. That is not what we enjoy doing. Freedom is the ability to have your say even if others don’t choose to agree or go along with you. The majority usually rules but there are times when either a compromise might be reached or an acceptance of another way might be added. Freedom is the ability to think say and do things, within reason, and that doesn’t hurt others in the process. Others can likewise choose to do what they want. It is quite a different story within a marriage situation or when kids are involved.
Marriages survive when there are compromises of all kinds. I love it when people ask those married a very long time to discuss what the magic is. There is no miracle to having any kind of a good relationship with anyone except respecting the other person enough to allow them to make some decisions and to offer their input. There are those times when maybe you were correct and they were wrong in a decision made but so what. They don’t need to have that drummed into their mind when they are aware of their fault. You give them confidence by simply accepting the outcome and embracing them. In the end there is never quite a wrong or right answer.
An egalitarian marriage brings freedom to both parties to speak without fear or feelings of inferiority. The same is true for children. They obviously have a lot to learn but their offerings can be enlightening and worthwhile. By permitting kids to offer to conversations, you are teaching them how to collaborate and compromise. They are technically learning within a safe environment, how to argue their points pertaining to what they want. Even when they lose, they still believe they were heard and respected. Likely another day might be better for them.
When we give independence to our kids before they are ready for it then they will possibly choose poorly when tested. Parenting takes time and effort and until kids are ready we must continue to parent perhaps a long time more than we anticipated. I look at it this way. I am making brownies and the box gives me a set time when they will be done. I still anticipate that the time might be off. To be honest that is true. I have never made brownies by the boxes’ timing. I need to give it fifteen to twenty minutes longer. The same is true with raising kids. Perhaps we will have to give some of them a few years longer to find themselves or get their lives intact. I can’t see why this causes an uproar. I find people apologizing to me that their kids are still at home in their twenties. I always say so what that is no big deal. You haven’t failed. They all launch in their own time.
I guess it is only a huge deal if parents are wanting kids to leave. If you are not pushing them out then give them their privacy and their freedom while encouraging them to live their life the way they see fit. They will find what they want in time. We don’t have to be a crutch only a support system as needed like my step stool ladder. Any kind of relationship works when respect care and understanding is present. When we can be what we want to be and not march to anyone Else’s drumming then we have the freedom to live our life independently regardless of who we live with. Treasure your freedom but not so much that you impede on the freedom of other people.
“Loyalty to petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul.” Mark Twain
“A hero is someone who understands the responsibility that comes with his freedom.” Bob Dylan
“Justice in the life and conduct of the State is possible only as first it resides in the hearts and souls of the citizens.” Plato
“Let parents bequeath to their children not riches, but the spirit of reverence.” Plato