What Does it Mean to Have Freedom?

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When you hear this word, what would cross your mind? Is it the independence of your country? Is it the freedom of an individual to express themselves? Is it the history of independence itself? Talking about independence, long back in history freedom is a privilege that only few people had. Slavery was normal back then.

To clear this out, according to the dictionary, freedom means the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint. Two keywords to this definition are “Right and Hindrance”. Then, to have freedom, at least we need those two keywords in order to obtain what freedom really is. 

In a week of Indonesian Independence Day celebrations, we asked several people what freedom means to them. From a 10 years old kid into a pre elderly, they have a unique perspective about what would the word freedom fits to them. 

In other words, a 10 years old kid will tell you that freedom is a right to have fun, while  a 23 years old perhaps would ask “are we truly free?”. But that is the point, as we grow and learn, our understanding about things will change. 


So, here is what freedom according to these people: 

“Freedom is a right to have fun” – Amel and Anastasya 10 years old

“There are two meanings of freedom, the first freedom is a word to describe a liberation from an oppression. The second, freedom is a victory from the thing that holds us to have what is rightfully ours” – Sujaya, 11 years old.

“Freedom is a condition where a nation could run his country without any intervention from another country” – Lisa, 13 years old. 

“Freedom means liberation. Liberation from invaders and liberation from colonialism – Ani, 12 years old.

“Independence is an award for a country because the people have fought, colonized and liberated its territory from invaders. And the independence of a country is closely related to sovereignty over the territory of the country.” – Lia, 11 years old

“Independence is a sense of freedom for humans to get the right to do what they want” – Selly 11 years old

Independent means we can express all of our ideas, creativity, opinion and do whatever we like, there are no boundaries – Trisna 23 years old

“Are we truly free? – Nevy 23 years old.

“Freedom is when we can freely express ourselves and grow.

Freedom is when we are not forced to doubt ourselves. Freedom when people can be the best version of themselves. – Mening 23 years old

“Freedom is the right to pursue our dreams and it’s not limited by age, gender, social status, etc. – Lia 35 years old 

“Freedom means the right to choose what’s best for ourselves. ” –  Lidia, 42 years old.

Having thought about this freedom, I recall my memory about a book I read years ago. I remember the title of this book is “Prison”. Actually it is a short story anthology. 

So there is this story about prison. It is not actually a prison, it is the place they work. But in this place, people only follow instructure. Doing these things regularly over and over again. Being watched. On top of that, they were not even allowed to have a cough. 

Someday, a few of them started to think that what they do is stupid and senseless. They thought they could be better than what they are doing right now.  So, they destroy the prison and they are free. 


Written by: Nevy Pangestika & Harun Ar Rasyid


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