I find it hard to think of the people that have influenced me most in life. I cannot specifically think of traits of my own that I have adopted from others, well for the most part I can’t. I prefer to think of myself as a walking collage. The individual that I am is made up of all the people I have ever met thus far and all our interactions. I’m a walking representation of the aspects of humanity that I have encountered, blended to create me.
"One day we will be united, bound together through blood and fire. A common threat will unite us as it always does. Be it natural disaster or something worse, one day we will be united. Together our voices as one, we will stand defiant and either echo in victory or fade to silence. One day we will be united."
Write a personal essay about your understanding of freedom and why you think it is important.
Freedom is such an important thing. The word itself has dictated our history. Again and again phrases featuring the word “freedom” have been coined and with them, charismatic individuals have brought nations to their knees. Indeed freedom is an important word, a word that has single handedly splattered the pages of history with the blood of millions. Yet I find it ironic that such an important, renowned and potentially infamous word is incredibly difficult to define.
The fact that freedom is so hard to define is what makes it so useful as a method of indoctrination. If you want soldiers to fight and die for you, all you need to tell them is that they are fighting for freedom. No more details are needed, for once you’ve mentioned freedom they will go to hell and back for you. Once they think they’re fighting for a better tomorrow they’re no longer people. Once they think that they are fighting for their loved ones they become weapons, living, breathing, relentless weapons. By this point, ironically, they sacrifice personal freedoms to fight for what they believe is freedom, but may well just be a dictators fancy. In my opinion this is why the expression, one man’s freedom fighter is another man’s terrorist, exists.
The concept of freedom is an effective means of control. Think of religion. World religions all offer freedom and salvation, but it comes with a price. In order to achieve the freedom religion offers, you must first impose restrictions on your personal freedoms. These restrictions aren’t necessarily a bad thing but they do prove that the concept of freedom is an effective system of control. They also suggest that perhaps human beings are not meant to have true freedom over their own lives.
True freedom cannot exist in our society, for it would be chaos. Could you imagine the world we would live in if any manner of criminal was free to perform any manner of crime they wished. No one would be safe, we’d live in constant terror. No, humanity as a whole cannot be granted true freedom because unfortuently we are like a disobedient dog. If we are not held on a leash we will get into all sorts of trouble both intentionally and unintentionally. True this may be a pessimistic view, but it is not one that is easily argued against.
But at the end of the day, what is freedom? Is it the ability to make your own choices or is it simply not having to face consequences. If there are no consequences then really and truly, there is no choice. But does that mean consequences are freedom? Does it mean that the only way freedom can exist is if we are being oppressed or punished? Once again it seems so ironic to me that the idea of freedom can only exist in the face of oppression.
Even as I come to the end of this essay I still have no idea what freedom actually is, perhaps no one knows. Is it oppression or is it choice, is it consequence or is it war, is it religion or is it peace? Nelson Mandela once said, “For to be free is not merely to cast of one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.” I think this is the idea of freedom I like best, one where humanity treats one another with respect despite our minor differences. I think this is the definition of freedom I shall adopt. For to me freedom is what you make it to be, that is what makes it important.
“So I want to end as I began, with a vision of two futures.”
Dear Future Generations.
Even as I put pen to paper I am unsure as to whether I should be writing a letter of apology or of praise. I’m sure history remembers this decade as the tipping point. The moment where our world crumbled into ruin or rose above the challenges we faced. Despite the current reign of recession, racism, discrimination, famine, war, terrorism and global warming, I still have so much hope for the future. These problems we face today are great, there is no denying that and I’m sure history remembers these difficulties. But they don’t leave me despairing at the thought of what tomorrow may bring. In my opinion mankind has the potential to not only overcome these problems but effectively eliminate them from our world. I truly hope that forty years from now such a utopia is not just a hope filled fantasy but fact.
The global recession is such a huge problem nowadays. Every sort of person from any walk of life is struggling to make ends meet. Long gone are the tiger economies that roared in the past and now people are left to wonder, will we ever live so intensely again? While this may not be the greatest threat humanity has ever faced it is the most pressing issue on everyone’s lips. You cannot blame people for trying to guard their pockets when they’ve got several other mouths to feed. My only hope is that by the year 2050 this recession has long since been resolved and is nothing more then a faded memory from what felt like an age ago. Hopefully money will flow much more freely than it does now and that the harsh lessons we are learning today, will never be forgotten.
Racism and discrimination too, are such huge issues today and much more personal for me as in some shape or form it is something I seem to see each and everyday. I will never understand why people are so prone to hating their fellow human beings? Why are people so afraid of that which is ever so slightly different? I can only hope that forty years from now humanity has grown passed this fatal flaw. I hope that we have become one big human family and that we not only accept each others differences but learn from them too. No one should be discriminated against for any reason! No one should be subject to racial slurs! I sincerely hope you future generations have realised this and are working together to build a bright future for yourselves.
Global warming and famine frequent our news headlines nowadays along with war and terrorism. These problems seem to amplify one another. To solve one, you must solve them all. I know there must be a solution to them. But I cannot think of it yet. Please tell me by 2050 that someone has. Please tell me that people no longer starve in the streets as a ruthless tyrant wages war with rebels! Please tell me that natural disasters no longer strike cities with such force it takes them years to recover or that people no longer merely accept a suicide bomber as a common occurrence.
When I cheer and celebrate to ring in the year of 2050 on a New Years Eve far from now I want to see a prosperous, healthy, world at peace. I want to see minorities breaking bread with former persecutors, I want to see a world where war, famine and global warming are a thing of the past. But unfortunately, to want and hope for something is not enough. As of this moment I am going to try my best to make my hopes a reality. But should I fail, I implore you to take up my mantle and strive to make this world a better place. Nothing is impossible, our hopes will become a reality!