The word freedom originates from the Old Frisian word frīdōm or frijdom. It can be compared to the Dutch vrīdoem or vrijdom, and Swedish frihet. The Latin word libertatem means freedom, absence of restraint, or permission. Liber meaning “free” is the root of libertatem, dating back to the late 14th century. In Old French, the word liberté means freedom. The base of freedom is free from German, and the suffix –dom originally comes from the Old English dóm and Middle Dutch doem.
Freedom is the ability to make decisions and think for yourself, to choose your own path in life without the constraints of other people’s directions or rules. It is the ability to determine your own course of action in any situation, whether it is something small like what to eat for breakfast, or something more significant like the career path you plan to follow in the future. Freedom is about independence and the inability to be commanded or oppressed by another human being.
Waking up each morning with the freedom to do whatever you want is a privilege. It is true that many people have expectations of us, which can sometimes by part of the reason why we wake up everyday and go to work or to school instead of just lying in bed. We don’t want to let down the people we love, but we also have expectations of ourselves. We have plans and life goals that motivate us to persevere through tasks that may be unpleasant or difficult. An example of this could be taking the time to finish work outside of regularly scheduled hours. We don’t particularly want to work on it, but we will finish because it is important. In terms of school, homework is a vital part of a university education, which a student must complete if they ever hope to be hired for a job requiring higher education. We all have influences that govern our choices, but in spite of these, we have our freedom. At any time we can choose to stop working or stop going to school if we want to. This freedom doesn’t mean we ignore any rules or laws and just go for whatever we want. Laws are necessary in any society for it to function properly, but they don’t need to be viewed as limits.
Freedom is very important. It is what gives us opportunities to be and do whatever we decide is most appropriate, desirable, or beneficial. I am a Roman Catholic, so for me freedom is directly related to free will. Within this faith, I believe that free will and freedom has been given by God to allow us to choose our own path. Whether we choose to be guided by God and desire for good is up to us and us alone. As a result we are left with our independence and will power, uncontrolled by fate or any other living being.
"Freedom, N." Oxford English Dictionary. Oxford English Dictionary, 2012. Web. 21 Nov. 2012.