Freedom, by definition, is the power to speak, think or act the way one wants. Every one of us is able to do what we choose to do. However, we have and always will be influenced by society and it’s set of constraints, no matter which part of the world and society we are in.
Generally, I think some people are freer than others, who are trapped mentally or physically by their own beliefs and limits. Some people are able to break free from this invisible confinement that tells them what to do, while others tend to give way to what they have been already expected to believe. As humans, it is undeniable that we are knowingly and intentionally able to make choices. Our choice-making capabilities and awareness of how we are able to forge our path has be hence limited by the influence through our social, cultural and even biological environment. These also affect our awareness of possible alternatives, leading us to forgo our own freedom.
For example, myself, I feel like I’m confined by Singapore’s standard ways of education. Since young, I have always believed that I must do well so I could enter the best schools, and even now, my mum is emphasising on how I have to get a degree in order to succeed or secure myself a successful job. While I believe part of her statement is true, this is perhaps only due to me being influenced by what everyone thinks is the ideal education path.
Similarly, some of us has been influenced from birth by others on how we should act. My cousin for example, is rather tomboyish, and hence she is always told off by her family and relatives that she should act gentle and delicate like how a girl should be. However, if this is not who she truly wants to be, who are we to actually force it into her?
In the end, human beings may be confined to certain teachings and beliefs and may never see themselves as truly free. However, we will and always would be given the option to forge our own path and stray from social norms. By making a choice to deviate away, it is then we would be truly free and happy.