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Let’s consider a few ways of restricting someone’s freedom. It’s a terrible thing to do and it can be self-inflicted or it can be imposed on others. It seems to me that, the more advanced a person or a society is, the more they rely on this practice. This subject cannot be easily exhausted, given the multitude of factors that influence each occurrence, from the people/systems involved, to motivation, level of intrusion, manner of execution, whether the influence is internal or external to the victim, whether it’s mutual or not, strangely enough we can also count the level of pleasure people can perceive in the process, the level of consciousness about the process, the inherent emotions, such as fear, security, domination, submission, volition, level of happiness or sadness/grief … to count but a few. In fact, all the factors that make our lives as colourful as it is (or dull, on the contrary) can be considered on introspection of how free (or otherwise) one really is.
I’m far from being a psychologist,
sociologist or any other luminary in this sense – I’m a mere life observer,
just like you and him and her, sharing what I perceive in our daily existence.
I do this for learning, for thinking, for feeling alive and connected.
From another perspective, this game is like statistics: you can carry on finding more evidence as to tip the balance one way or another, into a cycle of ups and downs, like the ones you see on a graph. There’s no problem with that – we’re not building a scientific thesis. We’re observing, thinking and sharing our views. Let's keep it simple.
This is only the humble beginning of a continuing observation, so together, let’s add to this list what we think could help others in their process of understanding life.
The biggest crime against freedom
This is only my opinion and you may feel free to agree or disagree, prove me wrong - feel free to share your angle.
I think the worst crime is to limit
one's own or another person's capacity to fully use their mental and emotional
potential. It's a crime to not encourage your children to study and get
educated, just as hideous as refusing to be educated or to learn and develop yourself, just for being lazy.
Given that the biggest advantage we have over the animal reign is our
intellectual capacity, I think the number one culprit in limiting our freedom
is the lack or denial of appropriate education at any stage in one’s life. Since
the thinking process doesn’t stop when people are not suitably educated, look at what happens when uneducated people apply their thinking in real life. We only need to compare the lifestyle of the uneducated folk
with that of reasonably intelligent animals, to realise how detrimental,
harmful and even evil the human race can become. Examples of human behaviour harming
their own self, their offsprings, their elders, animals and their environment,
including the air they breathe or the water they drink are endless! Animals don't expose this behaviour - they simply exist in comunion with the surrounding nature: they exist, they eat, drink, multiply and die.
To be or not to be educated doesn't
have to do with the financial affluence one may have or lack. When I realised I couldn't afford to
carry on studying for a Master's Degree, let alone a PhD, I simply made a
decision to not go the academic route, with the result that I landed on a
more practical career ladder, less scholarly as a result. However, I learned much more during the years that followed my studies than ever before and I never stop.
Other people with poor origins but an avid thirst for knowledge have managed to put themselves through schools and universities around the world, or even study to high levels without bothering to receive the official degrees and certificates. In Europe it is the norm to grow up bilingual and in developing countries you can find graduates in meaningless jobs - in fact you find them everywhere in the world.
This is a consequence of the educational system itself: it prepares graduates based on the courses and the teaching resources available, rather than on the actual students' needs. This system is there to feed a greedy mechanism with labour force at various levels, with the aim to perpetuate this same mechanism by making its owners and role players even richer. Resources, both in terms of money, time energy and brain power from everybody who wants to put themselves in service of such a system are drawn from the studious victims before, during and including years after they graduate.
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