When I think about freedom I think of an abstract concept that humans have evolved to perceive as the most important thing for their survival and evolution. We fight for other abstract concepts in the name of freedom and feel satisfied when we get a little bit spare time to have a little bit control over our lives. As I think about it more and more I have more questions about the mysterious evolution of the entire human race.
In the army, I have very little freedom; I can no longer choose my clothes, I share a room with four other girls, share the shower and sometimes I even get my dresser checked by the officers. I can’t even leave for a vacation without informing my commanders about it. This leaves very little freedom to me. Then it hit me: humans, the masters and rulers over both the animal and the plant kingdoms, evolved to have very little freedom!
Yuval Noah Harari put this concept beautifully in his book “Sapiens- a Brief History of Humankind” my all-time favourite book) and as I kept reading this made more sense to me.
We tend to overthink and build bigger platforms that eventually take every little bit of freedom (both consciously and unconsciously) from our lives. Even when we think we reached freedom, do we actually?
Here is an example: Let’s say I am the richest woman in the world and can afford anything I want. There are several platforms that might take over here; law that restricts me from buying illegal things, my conscience that will eventually force me to give money to charity; the fear of running out of money and even the concept of money itself and the social need to use money as a trade tool (and trade in general).
Animals and plants, on the other hand, don’t think about these kind of things at all (from my understanding at least); they care very little about freedom or trade. This makes life so much simpler. Even if humans wanted to give up on all the different social agreements that build our society, it would be so hard for one simple reason: we THINK. Our thoughts is what builds and can easily destroy our society and eventually the entire human race. Much like the different science fiction movies with the robots that eventually kill all the humans.
Our lives are full of abstract concepts like that. Understanding that these are just all imaginary agreements we have as humans can make it easier (or harder) for us to live, now that we fully understand this fact. Would we ever reach freedom? I don’t think so. Why? It is very simple: when we leave one platform, a social agreement, we tend to think of it as freedom, yet we still struggle with hundreds and even thousands of other platforms and social agreements in our lives.
The only thing we can actually do is to enjoy these little victories, the little moments of freedom and be happy!