Thursday, May 2, 2013

TED Talk Conversation About Freedom

One of the people whose mailing list I'm on is continually sending me links to interesting sites on the Web. Now, I have to be honest, I'm typically only interested in a few of the links he sends to all of us. But, that's okay, because Charles finds things I wouldn't normally stumble onto - even with my Stumbleupon account. So, he enhances my life through his own curiosity.

The other day he sent me a link to a TED Talk site. What he wanted people to see and be aware of was a TED Talk video by David Pogue, the tech writer for the New York Times. It was entitled "10 Top Time Saving Tech Tips." Well, it was good stuff. I like Pogue's column in the Times and I found his time saving tips not only interesting, but useful and I've been adopting them. Good stuff!

But, while I was on that TED site page, I scrolled down and found an interesting TED Conversation , a text part of the TED site. It grabbed my interest instantly and I had to read it and read all the comments from all kinds of people around the world. The TED conversation was posed as a question. Here is that question:

"What is your definition of freedom?"

I believe in an earlier post I presented an idea to you that I gained from my author friend, John Applegath, from Durham, New Hampshire. John, author of the book that has inspired me for years, Working Free, began some discussion group sessions in the Durham and Portsmouth area that he called, "Big Questions." Well, I liked that idea, too and I've played with it for a few years. But, this question posed by Caitlin on the TED site definitely qualifies and a "Big Question."

The replies and comments and even a few debates between several of those commenting, were stimulating. Caitlin's introduction to the conversation was short and to the point. Here is what she said:

"Every now and then we all question our own sense of freedom and what it is to be 'free'. How it is to live in the 'land of the free'. As much as it can sometimes be a little deep to talk about with peers, I thought this would be the best place to propose a discussion on your personal opinion of what it is to be 'free'.

See, a lot of people I've asked define 'freedom' as the opportunity to do what ever you want... I then follow this with asking, 'If everyone did as they wished, you'd then be bound by a constant fear of the actions of others, would you not? Then how 'free' would you feel?'

I simply want to start this conversation not because I believe 'freedom' is a definable concept, but because everyones' opinions of the idea is different and it's interesting to hear those opinions."

You've heard me expound on my definition of freedom and more specifically, how it applies to my lifestyle philosophy of "living free" many times throughout this blog. Believe me! I'm the first to admit that my definition is very personal and it's how I define it for myself. It may have absolutely no resemblance to your personal definition. Yet, in some manner, the concept of freedom and how it is defined, broadly or narrowly, impacts ever human being, bar none.

So, this is Caitlin's Big Question from the TED site. I'm passing this on to you. I invite you to comment on it as hundreds did on the TED site. I invite you to debate (on friendly terms, please). I will pass no judgment, nor will I necessarily reply to all or even any of your comments. But, I am interested in how you, my readers, around the world define the concept of Freedom - personally, societally and politically. There is no right or wrong here. The only intention is to gain ideas and insights from one another.

So, I hope enough of you are motivated to want to jump in on this and share your thoughts and ideas. It should be very interesting and informative if enough people share.

The comment "floor" is open to you.


Linda Sand said...

Off the top of my head I say freedom is being able to do what we feel is best for ourselves and those around us without negative impact on others.

Ed Helvey - Professional Nomad said...

That seems to follow a lot of my thinking, too, Linda.

Thanks for the comment.