CRE1: Freedom for truly human development

Freedom means responsible choices

Freedom, at its core, is a privilege. It is the ability to make daily choices in all aspects of your life without constraints; it’s leading with intention and not with organized chaos; it’s having the ability to determine what kind of day you’d like to have and with whom you’d like to share it with; it’s knowing your value.

In short, it’s independence.

And while we have our basic freedoms (religion, expression, press, etc.), the freedoms we crave for are more lifestyle driven.

Freedoms as simple as:

Being there for the kids’ play, their practice and dropping them and picking them up at school

Investing in one’s relationships and family.

Having time for passions and hobbies.

Having the ability to be mobile and travel.

Or simply making the daily schedule you’d like to keep. Many things that other people simply are not able to do because they are working jobs they don’t enjoy to consume more things they don’t use and pay more bills to consume those very things. Meanwhile, they are missing out on their personal lives, sacrificing their health and not living their purpose.

Responsible choices people make

There are so many situations in life delivering outcomes in which we are ultimately responsible. It begins in childhood when we’re taught to pick up our toys, and as we grow older, we’re taught to be responsible for our own decisions.

These may include;

Quitting drugs and going to a rehabilitation

Officiating a relationship through church marriage

Abstinence

Doing a medical checkup

Testing for HIV and AIDs

Doing physical exercise to keep in shape and many others

Advantages of responsible choices

Learning to consider the positive and negative consequences of a decision is essential at any of these stages, and the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) identifies responsible decision making as one of the five pillars of social emotional learning. CASEL states that decision-making skills can help children negotiate the following:

Ethical Standards: By being challenged to make decisions, children evaluate and develop ethical standards that influence character building.

Social Norms: Decision-making skills that incorporate positive social norms as an influence help children navigate the difficulties of adolescence and resist peer pressure and peer influence.

Consequences: Children with strong decision-making skills can evaluate potential consequences of actions in order to determine what choice is the best option.

If we are more self-reliant, we will develop a level of perseverance to face what needs to be faced. Those who are indecisive and without courage will always turn to another to absorb some form of approval before actually finding the decision. Regardless of where the influence comes from when we make decisions, we have to own the decisions we make because we are rightfully responsible for the choices we choose.

By developing responsible decision-making skills early on, children are prepared to face the real world challenges that will impact the course of their lives. And with those responsible decision-making skills in place, children are equipped to lead happy and prosperous lives.

Need to balance between personal and community freedom

We as people do not live exclusively independent of each other; we need each other to really get ahead. No person can truly survive independently, and for this reason, we live in communities, which are basically groups of people with common values and interests. The common good or working toward the common good is when those in the community come together and do things that benefit or are in the best interests of everyone in the community. Individual liberties have to do with our individual freedoms within a community or a person’s rights that cannot be trampled upon by any authority.

When thinking about liberties, there are positive liberties, which are the “capacity” to do something, and negative liberties, which are “freedom” from something. In our society today, people value their individual liberties as much more important than the common good, and for this reason, true community no longer exists. People use the idea of freedom of speech to spew their racist and bigoted thoughts into the world, thus promoting hatred between peoples who otherwise, would be able to live together peacefully. True integration will never be possible when people use their “freedom of speech” to spread hatred between groups of people.

Although people want to live in “peace,” nobody wants to take responsibility for their part of the chaos. Nobody wants to put aside their differences and work towards a common good because everyone thinks that their best interest is the common good. Nobody cares about the common good anymore if it even inches close to their individual freedoms.

There will never be true progress towards a common good until people start thinking less about themselves and more about the community. If politicians in Flint actually thought about the children rather than themselves, would there still be a water crisis over there? The problem is magnified when those in power work for private interests rather than the greater good.

This is a society of people, which makes it inherently imperfect and susceptible to being tainted by people. This balance between common good and individual freedom has more importance than one may be willing to realize.

The freedom God gave us Genesis. 1:28; 2:19 – 20, the liberation of the Israelites
Exodus 3

Genesis 2:19

This verse reveals another aspect of man’s purpose in the world God had made. The man was tasked with using his God-given authority and creativity in order to name the animals. The picture painted is powerful, empowering, and sweet, in a way. We see God forming the wild animals and birds, bringing them into existence, and then, eventually, bringing them to the man to discover what the man would call them.

God seems to be taking pleasure watching the man accomplish this task. It appears that God is not directing the naming of the animals in any way; He is truly leaving it to the man to use his own creativity, judgment, and process to come up with these names. And then God allows those names to stand as the animals’ true names. It is truly a privilege and honor which God bestows on this man, by allowing him to participate in the work of building and maintaining this new creation.

More than that, the act of naming something is meaningful in the book of Genesis. This act often implies rule over and responsibility for that thing. God has already instructed man to subdue the earth and rule over all of the creatures (Genesis 1:28). Having the man name the animals is another way of giving him responsibility to rule, subdue, and care for the animals.

 

 

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