I received a question from a visitor of my website: “You wrote in the statement that empathy is the key to freedom. I have hard time to connect the dots. Can you explain how do empathy and freedom relate?”
The short answer for this question would be: Real freedom must have its own root that is empathy. It is the same as that you can bring a plant from the wild land, but it will die very soon if it doesn’t have the root. Real freedom means creativity; freedom and creativity are equal. That is why I feel it’s redundant if I say “creativity is the key to the freedom”. We need to see three dimensional extension of how “freedom”, “creativity” and “empathy” are relating to each other.
We may tend to think (emotionally) freedom means random actions whatever we desire that is “free” from any interruptions. That is very childish notion of freedom, needless to say, which easily leads to temper tantrum when faced obstacles. However, I rarely see a person who never shows such emotional child inside. It is undeniable that we all have children that demand unlimited freedom inside ourselves. Some people show discomfort easily when they face such obstacles. Others quickly process or suppress and hide the negative emotions. But, everything is depending on. Some obstacles are easy to deal, some are not. In a basic rule, however, to admit its existence (demanding “inner child”) is the easiest way to deal with. After that admission, by expressing humor or understanding rationally what we face really means, we can better cope with the situation. Considering the whole things of the situation, you cannot blame so easily the one that has just annoyed you unless he/she has abused own power. I assume most of the people are doing in educated manner in the family, among the friends and the community. But obviously, things are not so simple when look around the world.
We have to give up the childish meaning of freedom. That doesn’t mean the freedom itself has gone from us. We just have to learn as grown up members of the society that real freedom has nuances (may sound limitation for the immature part of us) and the freedom needs living roots just a plant needs roots to maintain its life. For our freedom its roots are empathy and compassion.
I also want to point out: if you honestly ponder, you will find that for most of us "freedom" actually means "the right and its range (space) in which I (we) do not have to care about others." Or, in better definition (it might be more feminine version): "the right and its range/space from where I don't have to worry about my security and others." I want to say if we can fully redefine our freedom from these to simply: "the freedom that ensures others' freedom", and rethink and restructure the social order accordingly, most of the problems crippling our world today will dissolve rather quickly.
For further discussion, please read the followings by clicking the titles:
Creativity, Competition and Compassion (Coming soon)
Altruistic Society (Coming soon)
New Definition of Freedom (excerpt of “Thoughts on Freedom”)
Thoughts on Freedom (full article)
What Kind of Wealth to Spread