Is Our Choice Freedom ?

By Sr. Dr Lilly on 04-06-2013

All our freedom personal, economic, social, political-freedom to buy, to work, to hire, to bargain, to save, to vote, to worship, to gather in a convention or join in mutual association, all these freedoms are a single bundle. Each is indispensable part of a single whole. Destruction of any, inevitably leads to the destruction of all  – D. D. Eisenhower
Freedom therefore is inwardness, spontaneity, the capacity of a man to find within himself the reasons and the motives of his own right decisions and actions, apart from external coercion. Freedom therefore is authenticity, truthfulness, fidelity  to the pursuit of truth and to the truth when found. It requires greater courage to inner freedom, to move on in one’s inward journey into new realms, than to stand defiantly for outer freedom. Liberty is the way, and the only way to perfectability .Without liberty heavy industry can be perfected, but not justice and truth.
In 14th century, two brothers fought for the right to rule over a dukedom in Belgium. The elder brother’s name was Rayanald, but he was called ‘Crassus’ a Latin nickname meaning ‘fat’ for he was horribly obese. After a heated battle, Raynald’s younger brother Edward led a successful revolt against him assumed the title of Duke over his lands. But instead of killing Raynald, Edward devised  curious  imprisonment. He had a room built around ‘Crassus’ a room with only one door. The door was not locked, the windows were not barred, and Edward promised Raynald he could regain his land and his title any time he wanted to. All he would have to do was to simply leave the room where he was imprisoned. 
The obstacle to freedom was not in the doors or the windows, but with Raynald himself. Being grossly overweight, he could not fit through the door, even though it was of near normal size. All Raynald needed to do was to diet, come down to a smaller size, then walk out a free man, with all he had before his fall. However his brother kept sending him an assortment of tasty foods, and Raynald’s desire to be free never won out over his desire to eat.  When Duke Edward was accused of  being  cruel to his older brother he would simply reply, “My brother is not  a prisoner. He may leave whenever he wants to”. But Raynald stayed in that room for ten years, until Edward himself was killed in a battle.
        Personal liberty is the paramount essential to human dignity and human happiness  –   Burton 

About The Author

Sr. Dr Lilly

Realms of value contains short thought provoking stories from Sr. (Dr) Lilly SJL who is presently Vice Prinicipal of Fatima College, Madurai. She has chaired many international missions and her works belong 'Geneder discrimination in Indian Societies' and 'Education and Empowerment of women'.