Thursday, March 25, 2010

Charity Is True Freedom

Freedom is something I have been thinking a lot about lately. There have been so many different notions about the word throughout history. Here is a definition I found on the internet. It is quite lengthy.

   /ˈfridəm/ Show Spelled[free-duhm] Show IPA
1. the state of being free or at liberty rather than in confinement or under physical restraint: He won his freedom after a retrial.
2. exemption from external control, interference, regulation, etc.
3. the power to determine action without restraint.
4. political or national independence.
5. personal liberty, as opposed to bondage or slavery: a slave who bought his freedom.
6. exemption from the presence of anything specified (usually fol. by from): freedom from fear.
7. the absence of or release from ties, obligations, etc.
8. ease or facility of movement or action: to enjoy the freedom of living in the country.
9. frankness of manner or speech.
10.general exemption or immunity: freedom from taxation.
11.the absence of ceremony or reserve.
12.a liberty taken.
13.a particular immunity or privilege enjoyed, as by a city or corporation: freedom to levy taxes.
14.civil liberty, as opposed to subjection to an arbitrary or despotic government.
15.the right to enjoy all the privileges or special rights of citizenship, membership, etc., in a community or the like.
16.the right to frequent, enjoy, or use at will: to have the freedom of a friend's library.
17.Philosophy. the power to exercise choice and make decisions without constraint from within or without; autonomy; self-determination.

The last definition here is one of the most interesting to me. I am a religious person as far as my beliefs are concerned. I believe that Jesus Christ was the literal Son of God and that through his great sacrifice we can be forgiven of our sins and thus return to He who sent us. Life is a test, and we work at it from moment to moment. To succeed we need to find joy and happiness.

Whether Christ was the Son of God or not the concept of CHARITY which He taught is the greatest concept of freedom ever given. This to me is also our path to joy and happiness that is everlasting.

Freedom is all of the things mentioned above but to me the most important concept of the word lies within ourselves. That is why Charity is such a powerful principal. To always think of others before ourselves is a foreign concept in the world today. We have come to believe that we should get something tangible in return for every effort which we put forth. Even if it is just a pat on the back, there should be something. Right? Charity tells us that our love for our fellow man should supersede all other values or principles. Sometimes it becomes difficult to know how we attain those heights when we live in a world where this is a foreign concept.

I firmly believe that all people are inherently born with a knowledge of what is right and what is wrong. I also believe that at a very early age our pure vision is skewed by the environment within which we live. If we act against those feelings enough it is possible to extinguish that light. That is why children who have not been indoctrinated by the world may see a difference in the color of someone's skin but not in their humanity.

No matter how hard we try during the early stages of life we are going to make many mistakes while we are growing and learning. When I say mistakes I am again talking about going against an inherent goodness and light which is within all of us. As life continues on we search for answers to life's most important questions. Where do we come from? Why are we here? Where are we going when this life is over?

With that said I am at a point in life where I would like to experience this concept of Charity as much as possible before the end of my time here.

4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not
itself, is not puffed up,
5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked,
thinketh no evil;
6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

I believe that is how I will experience the purest freedom of body and mind that is possible. To get to that point can be one of the greatest mysteries of all. Some have turned to religion, while others have turned to seeking inner peace though meditation or possibly losing ones self in service. Some people think that they can get there through drugs of one kind or another, or even by indulging in whatever base desires or emotions lead them. Some think that money is the answer. It has nothing to do with happiness. The key is a balanced life, coupled with a clear mind and a desire to do for others.

Words cannot express fully what a person feels as shown here, only doing can help us to understand if what is said is really true. Test the good ideas by trying them out in your life. As we do that we can see first hand how we feel and whether the feelings are lasting or fleeting.

Life really is to short, and finding the answers sooner rather than later help us to make the most of what we have! I believe that we can be free even in the most desperate situations in life. Whether we are bound even unto death our minds can still provide us with freedom, love and hope. I truly believe that.