Subject: Freedom as my view
Freedom is a good slave but a bad master, depending on its use or misuse. So long as you are in the saddle. The reins firmly in your hands, all is fine. Then freedom responds like a thoroughbred — gallant and beautiful. But if you lose control and let it control you — all is lost! You become freedom’s slave and a slave to your own weaker self. For though freedom is liberty, nothing enslaves so absolutely as absolute freedom.
Nature is a symbol of freedom. being, as it were, a divine expression of a human ideological abstraction. Nothing is so naturally free as Nature, yet Nature herself is governed by the most rigid rules and unchanging laws. If ever, whenever or wherever there is the slightest deviation from the set pattern, there is chaos and devastation. Thus there are floods, earthquakes, cyclones, landslides and other calamities whenever Nature breaks the rules and oversteps the limits of her freedom. For Man as for Nature, untamed, unlicensed freedom can be dangerous and disastrous. It can wreak an individual’s life, debase society and ruin the strongest of political structures.
Freedom is manifested in its highest, most perfect form when it goes hand in hand with discipline and restraint. It has been observed that a lax string produces only reverberating, jangling sound. The instrument will make music only when the strings are tightened and tuned. Discipline is the key! However free one may be, in private, public or national life nothing was or ever will be achieved without discipline. Unalloyed freedom is form without grace, pleasure without joy, sensibility without sense.
Freedom means responsibility. It is on of the paradoxes of life that the higher the degree of freedom the greater the responsibility. The comparative freedom of adulthood is also accompanied by its responsibilities — responsibilities which are happily absent in the world of childhood. Take another example. As one’s career graph mounts upwards one functions more and more independently but, inevitably, there is a corresponding and proportionate increase in responsibilities. There is, therefore, a price-tag attached! The greater the value we place on freedom, the higher the price we must be prepared to pay. Freedom is the power to be able to choose to evade or to abide by impositions. Perfect freedom is the power to be able to impose impositions on oneself by choice. To be totally free is to have total self-control.
Our independence was dearly won. Now we cannot evade its responsibilities. It is a flawed — indeed, a false freedom — if independence merely means laxity, lies and lawlessness in our national life. Freedom is the opportunity to make the most of our resources, our abilities and ourselves. It is the opportunity to pursue what is right and to protect against what is wrong. (Not to commit what is wrong!) The hope for a better future surely lies in making the best of these opportunities — by putting our independence to its most effective use with the power of discipline, responsibility and restraint. Only then shall we know the true worth, the true meaning of freedom.