Sunday, October 3

Freedom of Choice

Liberty is obedience to the law which one has laid down for oneself” -- Jean-Jacques Rousseau.  Often people associate being obedient as being restricted from something they really want but in reality, it is liberating.  A child who is obedient to a loving parent can be spared some of the dangers or heartache of disobedience.  Sometimes the natural consequence is unavoidable. There are certain laws of nature and science, for example, which are completely objective in their consequences.  If you don’t give yourself the proper rest or nutrition the body will become weak and eventually sick.  When we obey the laws of the land, we retain our liberty from the consequence of a fine or imprisonment.  When we adhere to a set of moral principles, either defined by our choice in religion or our own sense of right and wrong, we are free from the consequences of making mistakes that could negatively alter our lives.  It is in a way a higher sense of freedom to choose to be obedient to the laws governing life.  It is that obedience that gives us the ability to lay down the law for ourselves as the French philosopher Rousseau describes.  It is that obedience which has as its prize liberty.
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