Liberty and Misconceptions, part 3

Continuing this series on the “unalienable” or universal rights of man which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, today we will look at liberty, often colloquially called freedom.

If life is the first right, the primary right, one must be free to live that life must be second only because one must be living in order to appreciate the right of liberty. The most common mistake made when considering what liberty, or freedom is, is what it is not.

It is not an exercise of liberty to inflict harm. It is not an exercise of liberty to do whatever your heart desires. As someone, who is lost to history, once said, “Freedom isn’t doing what you want, it’s doing what you ought.” The question then is, “what ought we do?”

When that question is posed, there are numerous answers, but the consensus answer is best put as, “love.” But what is “love”? It is hard to describe because love is so subjective, because, as author Gary Chapman has put forth, there are numerous “love languages” that are “spoken” by different people, not only those deeply personal, but those hundreds of dialects that span so many different social situations. If the best exercise of the second right is to love, then we best learn what it is and is not, less we become only further confused.


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