Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

The notion of freedom

In 2016, an “octopus at New Zealand’s National Aquarium made a break for freedom by slipping out of its tank, slithering down a drainpipe and escaping into the ocean earlier this year” (Nat Geo). Recently, “workers at a crocodile farm in Thailand have been searching for crocodiles which escaped after floods in the area.” (BBC)

Human escapes from captivity to freedom have resulted in many books and movies (eg, Alcatraz, Colditz, Monte Cristo, Shawshank Redemption). In 1621, Dutch diplomat, lawyer and theologian Hugo de Groot made a famous escape in a book chest. On 30 December 2019, former Renault-Nissan chairman and CEO Carlos Ghosn made a daring escape from Japan to Lebanon in an audio equipment box.

The notion of freedom seems to be present in species that can move (eg, animals, humans). Other species, like plants and trees, seem to do well in captivity, provided that these species are (well) looked after.

The notion of freedom is less important and/or relevant in case of symbiosis (my blogs). This applies to both animals (eg, cats, dogs) and to humans (eg, marriage). Apparently, the notion of freedom is (a) subjective (truth) rather than (an) objective (truth). Also see my 2019 blog: Our search for the truth.

Ultimately, symbiosis is about having mutual advantages (my blogs). Any absence of advantages changes our perspective (my blogs) on the risk-reward balance (my blogs). Hence, symbiosis must have more rewards (the upside) than risks (the downside).

When children are maturing, their perspective on the risk-reward balance is slowly changing. The rewards of cohabiting with their parents become less attractive, while the risk of living alone becomes more attractive. Any quest for freedom is essentially a changed perspective on the risk-reward balance.

I have lots of freedom. Essentially, I do what pleases me. Yet, even freedom can become a cage, albeit in your mind and not in your appearance. In other words, rewards without risks may give too much freedom. Being in a relationship has created a better risk-reward balance for me.

The view on freedom has changed over the years:
Epictetus (c.50-c.135 AD): “Is freedom anything else than the right to live as we wish? Nothing else.” (source)
Ayn Rand (1905-1982): “Freedom (n.): To ask nothing. To expect nothing. To depend on nothing.” (source)

Free (1976) by Deniece Williams
artist, lyrics, video, Wiki-1, Wiki-2
But I want to be free, free, free
And I just got to be me, yeah, me, me

Note: all markings (bolditalicunderlining) by LO unless stated otherwise.


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