Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Tuesday, August 4th, 2020

Obstacles to Building a Free Society

I have walked that long road to freedom. I have tried not to falter; I have made missteps along the way. But I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come. But I can rest only for a moment, for with freedom comes responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not yet ended” these words are spoken by Nelson Mandela.
We have been longing for freedom voraciously. Freedom to express our thoughts, to act without restrictions, to walk without boundaries, to do what we want without the mood of being told to do what is right. In other words, freedom has mostly been misconstrued; empty of moral values and responsibilities. We have walked to freedom, however, ‘made missteps along the way’ without admitting. Moreover, we did not only make missteps but also went the wrong way feeling a great disdain to ask a guide the way to freedom.
Think of a person who is in prison for three decades. Whenever he peeps through the prison’s hole, he sighs wistfully wishing to walk the same as the people outside the prison. He just sees people waking outside, but does not know exactly what is going on there. The prison guard releases him after many years. When he comes out, he sees the real criminals outside such as gangsters, kidnappers, murderers, robbers, bullies, etc. Every day, he notices violence, bloodshed, moral corruption, and so on. People, tyrannize him, threaten him to death, force him to do what they want and use him as a punching bag.  Won’t the person feel like returning to prison?
What is the use of hopping in a free ground with the feet in chain? We have always been in pursuit of liberty while only the door of prison is open to us but we are tightly chained.
It is not freedom to cross all the boundaries and limitations. We may gain physical liberty; however, spiritual freedom comes first. One may have no chains in his hands or feet, but will still be in the prison of his greed and lust for banal materials. Therefore, s/he will violate the rights of others so as to gain his own self-interests. It is beyond doubt that the reason behind the serious crimes and corruption, in our society, is nothing other than our uncontrollable lust for worldly materials.
We have failed to remember that ‘with freedom come responsibilities.’ Whenever we claim for liberty, we have to shoulder a series of responsibilities in the society. In other words, there is a limitation for freedom. Besides using our rights, we are responsible to respect the rights of others. So, we are supposed to use our freedom in the frame of law otherwise we will trample upon others’ rights. Nelson Mandela says, “For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”
In our society, freedom is highly misinterpreted and misused. We see people disrespect others’ freedom by trampling upon their rights. They never think that individual freedom is limited by social responsibilities.  Of course, when freedom is empty of responsibilities, it will change to the most perilous factor in the society. The same is the case with freedom without limitation. Whenever one practices freedom out of moral or religious frame, they will not care about others’ freedom and rights. Therefore, they will go deep in immoralities. Hence, in such a society freedom is not possible for all citizens, but only for the powerful ones. The rights of the weak will be violated and they will suffer injustice and cruelties imposed by the powerful. Isn’t it the society we live in?
So, our officials cannot bring freedom to our society unless they free themselves from immoral characteristics. Fate has trapped in a greed for power and material possessions. Spiritual freedom is the most meaningless word for them. They try to get money and possession more than ever before even through trampling upon the rights of the poor. They do great injustice without feeling a tinge of guilt or responsibility. It is sad and shameful; our officials just concentrate on comfort of their own families, despite deep poverty of other people.