What is Freedom and its Significance?

Essay by ssaillllyyA+, May 2004

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So, what is freedom and what makes it significant? Philosophers, presidents, journalists, and normal everyday citizens have argued the definition of this word, freedom, throughout the history of this country. Franklin D. Roosevelt said:

Four freedoms: The first is freedom of speech and expression - everywhere in the world. The second is freedom of everyone to worship God in his own way, everywhere in the world. The third is freedom from want...everywhere in the world. The fourth is freedom from fear...anywhere in the world.

James Baldwin's opinion was that "freedom is not something that anybody can be given. Freedom is something people take, and people are as free as they want to be." Patricia's belief was "self-reliance is the only road to true freedom, and being one's own person is its ultimate reward." Freedom, evidently, is defined differently by different people.

A teenager at the age of seventeen, just on the brink of adulthood thinks about freedom all the time and when they do become eighteen, they are able to follow their own set of rules that they regard as having freedom.

For many others, freedom is something that just is in their own minds--a freedom to think for themselves or just to think of something contrasting from what is thought of as the "status quo". It is a freedom of expression and a freedom to be different. In an optimal free society, one has the ability to truly be oneself and to express one's self without being afraid of ridicule or harm.

Even in a war right now, hardly any people would concur that Americans have the comfort to prospect the freedom of self-expression. People in other countries are not as lucky. They attempt to access basic human rights that many U.S. citizens take for granted. These freedoms include...