Essay No. 160:
In Freedom Lies The Happiness Of The Individual: According to the proposition, the happiness of an individual lies in freedom. There is much truth in it. Man by natures loves freedom. He hates slavery. An individual whether poor or rich feels pleasures when he enjoys freedom. Freedom is the birthright of man, which is recognized by all religions, though certain limitations are placed on it.
A poor man, exposed to starvation and hunger, would love his freedom. He would not like his freedom to be chained. It is a different matter that the growing income inequalities in society put the poor under the chains of poverty. The chains get sharpened with the passage of time. It is therefore, necessary to dismantle the chains of poverty to free a large segment of mankind of it.
Poverty constraints the freedom of an individual to have a better living standard. Hence if we wish to promote the happiness of the poor, we must set them free from the dehumanizing types of shackles. Societies where the gulf between the rich and the poor is widening, present a bad example of the freedom of the latter.
The poor have the freedom to starve. The situation needs a reversal if the object is to empower the poor. There is no denying the fact that an individual experiences the sense of happiness when he is granted freedom. This however, does not mean that he is free to break the rules of society. Freedom does not mean an unfettered license to do whatever one wished to do.
One may like to break the traffic rules, endangering one’s own life and the life of others. Freedom thus has to be exercised under certain moral, social restraints to promote harmony in society. Happiness is a variable of many dimensions. It is a function of many factors. Happiness is promoted when people make sacrifices for their fellow beings.
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If you upgrade a low person in life by putting him on his feet independently, with your genuinely earned resources, that become a cause of satisfaction and happiness. Service to humanity is the route of promoting real individual and societal happiness. Under democratic dispensation, people enjoy various kinds of freedom.
Freedom imparts a typical sense of happiness to people. That is why democracy is preferred to dictatorship, which curbs freedom of man. Man must get freedom, which could, in the long run, bless him with happiness. But the freedom be for all not for a few!