Author and blogger Héloïse De Smet has written an intriguing article for us, that argues that perhaps, in order to be a free and happy society, we actually first need to become more individualistic than we are sometimes already criticised for being. Read on to find out exactly what she means…
Being Free or Freedom of Being? – Article by Héloïse De Smet
Let’s All Be Free asked me to share with you what Being Free means to me; little did they know that it means everything to me. But what exactly does that mean?
Most people dream about Freedom and the idea of Being Free. Although the word in itself isn’t used a lot, it is the essence of what we are looking for, whether it is through the pursuit of happiness; the dream of becoming an entrepreneur; the need to share our art; the desire to live fully, travelling the world and enjoying what life has to offer… For me, that is Freedom, meaning: Freedom of Being Myself. One can only find Freedom if looking within oneself, for Freedom comes from Being Free. And, to me, Being Free means literally: Freedom of Being.
Isn’t that a bit self-centered? Well, how could the world around us be free and happy if each and every one of us were not? Don’t we want all to be happy? As the French poet Boris Vian wrote in 1947, “What interests me is not the happiness of all men, but the happiness of each individual.” And where would the key to happiness lie, if not in the Freedom of Being?
Many people today find our society too “individualistic” – I used to think that too – but I wonder if, on the contrary, it isn’t individualistic enough… If we want to live together and co-exist in peace with respect for one another, we must first learn to exist as a Free individual – rather than pretending to be someone we aren’t, for the sake of the community or to please others!
Here are some of the words that come to mind when I think about Being Free: Freedom, Liberty, Being, Me, Being Myself, Choices, Happiness, Autonomy, Self-determination, Independence, Free Will, I, Individuality, Think, Be, Expression, Love, Exist, Live, I Am, Life, Responsibility, Respect, Conscience, Respect, Authenticity…
Indeed, Being Free involves all of this: responsibility for one’s life, responsibility of one’s choices, being happy because we found ourselves, respect for others as for oneself, being authentic as a sign of respect for oneself and therefore for others, being conscientious, thinking by and for ourselves, reverence for our identity in the word “I”, Happiness because it comes from Being Free, etc.
Being Free is thus a state of mind, and no one can take that away from your nor give it to you. Sometimes people ask “free from what?” or “isn’t Freedom a bitter dream?” To those I say: as long as you have your own mind, you’re Free. Being authentic, being you and living in harmony with your own values, are what makes you Free. You are a Free Spirit! And again: no one but yourself can make that happen, nor take that away from you. It is all yours… if you want it to be!
To The Freedom of Being You,
* Check out Héloïse’s proposal for an International Day of Freedom on 20th September 2012 *
* You can follow Héloïse’s thoughts on being free via Twitter at: @HeloiseDS *