Are You Enjoying Personal Freedom Where You Live?

Free To Be

The end of a long, peaceful and restful Labour Day weekend and every minute of it was enjoyed and savoured – at least in my household of one. One of the many things that was accomplished was simply relaxing. Two days and minimal ‘work’ was done here, aside from posting one article a day, including yesterday’s, Katelyn Roth’s on “5 Ways To Split Expenses Without Splitting Up.”

Surprisingly, that post had me thinking about personal freedom – what it means and how does one achieve it. Is a coup de maison necessary, if not a country-wide revolution for a person to reach a point in his/her life where they feel “free?”

The Iron Lady

Our afternoon post today will explore the more metaphysical or even practical spiritual understanding of personal freedom and give some insights about how it might be achieved. My intrigue with the subject deepened as I finally watched Meryl Streep in the movie “The Iron Lady.”

Younger readers might not know who was referred to by that ‘name’. The late and first female Prime Minister of Great Britain, Margaret Thatcher, was called that and it is a term that “was coined by Captain Yuri Gavrilov in 1976 in the Soviet newspaper Red Star, for her staunch opposition to the Soviet Union and socialism.” (Source: Wikipedia)

Margaret Thatcher
The late Margaret Thatcher

Admittedly, during the period of her “reign,” from 1979 – 1990, I was among those who felt that she led her country more with a whip than anything else, cutting across its economic backsides as she withdrew the social salves that many had depended on, especially in times of hardship.

My opinion of her tempered as my life evolved and with my many roles in leadership, although clearly on a more minuscule scale compared to Mrs. Thatcher’s. She was a decisive woman, eloquent in her presentations and driven by her passions about her country and its pride of place in the world that it had “lost” to the United States. Her distaste for everything socialist was well-known and the shoulder that she often turned towards the former Soviet Union could be more cold than the Siberian winter.

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Do I now agree with everything that she did, how she governed her country and ran her party? No, of course not, however in the light of retrospect and as more is written about her, movies made and as we watch economies “fail” and more and more people lose their sense of personal responsibility, it is difficult not to see that Margaret Thatcher made sense in some important ways.

A Philosophy of Freedom and Imagination

Watching the movie last evening, in one scene she was asked about a recent visit that she had made to the United States and how would she compare that country with her own. Maybe the scriptwriter edited the lines for dramatic effect but this is basically the quote:

Europe was created by history. America was created by philosophy.

freedom
Free to be

It is that philosophy – one largely grounded in personal freedom – that many admire most about the United States, even while other issues such as racism and the current strong wind of misogyny threaten the well-being of a large part of that country. The imaginative spirit is alive and well in the United States and in many other countries in the world. That spirit is what helps people to soar even in times of economic hardship and societal challenges.

The 2015 Human Freedom Index (HFI) was released in August and funny enough, the United States was not among the top 10 countries where personal freedom is enjoyed by its population. Hong Kong was actually #1 and Canada was among the top ten countries.

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Personal Freedom is defined in the HFI as “the degree to which people are free to enjoy the major freedoms often referred to as civil libertiesโ€”freedom of speech, religion, and association and assembly in the countries in the survey. In addition it includes indicators on rule of law, crime and violence, freedom of movement, and legal discrimination against same-sex relationships.” Have a read of the full report here and incidentally, the United Kingdom was #9 on the list.

Money Does Not Equal Fully Free

money
Having money does not ensure a sense of Freedom

What this points to is that economic freedom does not necessarily equate to personal freedom. In simple terms, money and stuff do not make you free. Yes, it is definitely more easy to make your way through the world, buy those things that you want most and have doors open – which are all great. However, if the community in which you live lacks those “major freedoms” as described earlier, those with money either lose it eventually or leave the community.

Personal freedom, to be sustainable, must and can begin in each of us and Allanah Hunt say it best:

โ€œIt is only when you take responsibility for your life that you discover how powerful you truly are.โ€

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Have a great first working day of the week – those of you coming off the long weekend!

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21 thoughts on “Are You Enjoying Personal Freedom Where You Live?

  1. […] “Are You Enjoying Personal Freedom Where You Live?” and “How To Stop Saying “No” To Your Freedom” tied for third place in this […]

  2. Very interesting perspective. For the most part, I feel free, yet there are always many conditions on that freedom.

    1. Ms Claudette

      Indeed there are – hence the term “fully free.” Namaste ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Ahhhh I like to think I’m free! I’m the type of person when I hate something, I change and fix it ASAP!

    1. Ms Claudette

      Good for you! ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. eliz frank

    Life in these United States is a double edged sword … grace and gloved fist. That said, it remains a giant among nations that pretend their people are free. As for The Iron Lady, may she rest in peace!

    1. Ms Claudette

      Indeed, may her soul rest in peace. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. RonRon

    Very well said! Great eye-opening post you have. Thanks for this.

    1. Ms Claudette

      Thank you! ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. […] daily grind. Some of our conversations might not be comfortable, especially for those who are in denial about the reality of their situation or who might see themselves in the not-so glamorous […]

  7. Money definitely isn’t everything – we certainly don’t have a lot, but we do have each other, and our healths!

    1. Ms Claudette

      Amen to that! ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Very well said! Money does let you do a lot of things you want but then it doesn’t make you free. Some people are slaves to their money too!

    1. Ms Claudette

      Yes, I know a few of those slaves! ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. As someone who’s trying to make a living as an entrepreneur I am constantly trying to hold on to/achieve personal freedom. As you say, money is not freedom, but it does help. It can be so stressful at times trying to find/make my way in the world outside of the usual path, but the reward have having personal freedom is so worth it!

    1. Ms Claudette

      Sarah, I am feeling you completely on this! ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. tara pittman

    I do have a lot of freedom. I tend to enjoy my time by my self.

    1. Ms Claudette

      Yippee! Good on you Tara! ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Robin Rue (@massholemommy)

    I do whatever I want, whenever I want. I am as free as a bird.

    1. Ms Claudette

      Love, love, love it!!! Good for you Robin! ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. […] the lesson. You get well in mind, body and spirit. You also start walking to that place called personal freedom. It has noting to do with money, granted having your own money or source of enough income does help […]

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