Freedom. We all dream about it. We all wish we could break free of the rules, laws and constraints we are all chained down by.
The uniforms, taxes, laws and harsh, judgemental opinions: All these keep us in order, organized and running smoothly like a well-oiled machine. But sometimes what is best for people is not the strict guidelines and controlling regulations, but the shattering of the barrier to insanity and liberation, the spreading of wings and freedom of flight that we can only ever experience in dreams. Freedom, however, can have many different definitions.
To be able to do anything they want without the fear of trouble, fines or cruel, judgemental opinions, or maybe just to be able to walk to the park alone. There are numerous levels of freedom and everybody’s opinion on where they are on those levels can depend on their upbringing, cultural background, age group and environment. Some cultures, for example, are considered to be stricter than others in certain, or all aspects of their children’s lives, even to the extent of an arranged marriage. There are many reasons for why children should be allowed some freedom, however, but still be on a loose leash.
We all need to go through the childhood stage, with we need room to explore the world and take risks in a safe environment and manner. Parents just need to find a balance between the two, letting the child make some of their own decisions, but also letting them make small mistakes as to learn from them. Though some teenagers of this generation feel as if they need more freedom, most of them do not. Teenagers do not know the real meaning of freedom and have not learnt to savour it as those in the work force have. They do not know what it is like to have to fend for themselves, and have others depend on them to live as well.
To have just one day where all that responsibility, and the responsibility of sticking to laws and restrictions, is lifted off their shoulders, would be the feeling of true freedom. Parents restrict their teenagers from doing some things and going to certain places because they want their children to be safe, but to enjoy and savour the freedom they have now before they are released into the “real world” and never to experience it again. Teenagers of this day and age have quite a bit of freedom in many aspects already compared to their parents and other older generations.
Being a teenager myself, I can see why some others would like more, and feel as if they are deprived of, choice and freewill, though I understand that the restrictions placed and reinforced upon by the parents are only for our benefit. As our parents, they would have decidedly more knowledge of the world and its dangers due to experience, as they have been where us teens are today. The world, however, is changing, and with a new generation comes new experiences. There are many choices in life, and if we do not make mistakes, we would not be able to learn and grow as people.
Independence is a crucial lesson in life, and can only be achieved through self nourishment and exploration of both ourselves and the world around us. Though parents may think that by restricting their children from going out and contributing to certain events is to protect them, they may be actually shielding their children from the real world, feeding their children lies when the society they live in isn’t as innocent. Totally shielding that child from the events of the world would be unfair to both the parents and the child. Gradually exposing them to the world however, would be a nicer alternative.
The shock of finding out how different the real world is compared to their thoughts and filtered knowledge would be extremely unfair as they would discover all the experiences they did not get to participate in, and feel as if their childhood had been wasted. This shielding of children may also have prevented them from having a social life. They may have been kept at home, quietly reading, or studying for a test coming up in a couple of weeks, while their friends were out having fun and experiencing and contributing to the memories that they will be able to tell their children when they have grown out of their teenage years.
Being kept at home, it would make sense that they would have a quieter and less outgoing personality, and that new experiences would not be as happily welcomed as they would by those who had had the chance to understand and gain knowledge about it. On the other hand, quite often teenagers who are kept at home, but who have knowledge of the outside world, become rebellious and disobedient in order to try and experience new things with friends and also to be socially accepted and to fit in.
However, this creates tension and mistrust within families, and therefore harsher restrictions on their freedom, causing other, more forceful forms of rebellion. Freedom is classed on so many different levels, that sometimes, even walking home without the threat of death is a dream. With countless different definitions of “freedom” each and every person would have a varied view on liberation and different levels on where they feel it. Teenagers need time to explore and experience, but on he other hand, they need to be able to do this in a fairly safe and comfortable environment. Lack of freedom hinders the growth and development of personalities and the teenager’s ever going search to find themselves, and who is going to make their mark in the world in the near future. Freedom is a part of life that shapes and moulds the clay of the future of mankind into the people who will one day run the world. And in freedom, we fly.