Have you ever thought for just a few minutes about the concept of freedom? You should.

Think about two elements.

First, freedom has a “from” element to it. In the United States, we have the freedom from oppression. This is huge! We are not oppressed in the speeches we make, the opinions we have, the religion we practice, and the protests we make.

Second, freedom has a “to” element as well. We are free to:

Freedom from / Freedom to

  • Make the most of our abilities in our daily lives
  • Make choices of colleges, careers, jobs, and spouses
  • Purchase what we can afford including cars, homes, and other stuff (lots and lots of stuff)
  • Blog, tweet, and comment
  • Lead in our personal or professional lives and, hopefully, in both
  • Give, tithe, support, and comfort
  • Smile, love, hug, encourage, guide, and listen
  • Offer our opinion, advice, counsel, and insights
  • Converse, talk, debate, and listen (all, preferably, in a civil manner)
  • Eat what we want, when we want
  • Express anger, fear, concern, objections, and alternatives
  • Do, act, engage, and make our lives, and those around us, better

The point is we have the big benefit of being free from oppression, so we can be free to do and say stuff. Sometimes, while we may take the freedom from for granted, we also may lose sight that we have the freedom to think, say, listen, and do, and we need to make the most of each.

We take the freedom from oppression, but what are we really giving in return? When it comes to freedom, there needs to be a take-and-give. Balancing the two is essential to the reality of freedom.

Let’s ensure we are leveraging our freedom from in the most productive and spirit-filled way, meaning we are doing the most with our freedom to_______________________.

What “freedom to” are you leveraging the most in your personal and/or professional life?