“Freedom is the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.”
George Orwell presented strong messages about the topics of freedom and equality, both in his everyday life and through literature. He shared forward thinking and thought-provoking ideologies of the future, publicly and politically, and his strength of character to stand up for what he believes in despite adversity from others convey strong messages on the topic of equality.
To be free, we have to unleash the shackles that hold us down. One person’s cage is another person’s stage. Something that holds one person back and stops them from excelling may in fact create a platform for someone else to shine.
Freedom is a personal perception as well as a social acceptance.
We accept that people have a right to be free within our society but sometimes we forget that some people may not feel that way in social situations.
Throughout history, minorities, cultures and races of people have been tortured, ridiculed and abused; as other races, cultures and minorities have developed a completely unjustified view that they are superior. It is important that we learn from this as a civilised society and encourage the importance of personal perception of how we should treat one another.
Being truly free in modern day society is questionable.
The aspects of working in an office job as a team member with a supervisor, team leader, manager and director above you in a hierarchy shows that modern day society is set up to have superiors commanding and giving orders. The idea of having a job and working, itself, could be construed as the direct opposite of freedom, taking away your free time and forcing you to function in a certain way you are ordered to.
It is hard to look at any social structure and see complete equality. We see massive differences in wealth, power and status with civilisation globally. To paraphrase the governmental pigs in Animal Farm who say that “everyone is equal but some are more equal than others”, Orwell recognised that the people in institutional hierarchy’s claim to endorse equality but even they recognise that the balance is skewed.
Age, gender, weight, ethnicity, religion and politics… these are all common contemporary topics where issues of suppression and inequality thrive. In some way we are all shackled down, but sometimes we create our own shackles.
We can’t overnight individually just change social structures that breed inequality but we can however, make personal changes in our lives that integrate the promotion of freedom of expression and encourage others to feel free too.
A few simple steps to encourage a more balanced view of yourself and the people that surround you are:
- Never let your first impressions of someone be the only impression they ever make on you.
- Believe in your head and your heart that no one is more superior or more inferior to you and everyone else around you.
- Feel equal. Don’t let another person’s achievements tarnish your own successes. Everyone is different but no one is truly better than anyone else for the very reason that no one can be judged on the same merit as anyone else.
- Promote love, acceptance, support, nurture and independence to everyone that touches your life.
Written by Joseph Lee.