While you read this you will probably say, “How obvious, anyone could say what you are saying.” I agree, but even the most learned among us often miss the obvious. I refer to those who say things like, “I’m not wearing a mask; I’m not getting vaccinated; no one can tell me what to do; I have my freedom, I can do whatever I want.”
To the latter I say, “No you can’t! Every time you get into your car you can’t do whatever you want. You have to stop at stop lights. You can’t drink and drive. You have to wear seat belts.” You might foolishly say, ‘I don’t have to do any of those things.’
True, but you do them anyway because you know it is for your own protection and that of others. Maybe you don’t care about others so you break laws that are designed to protect you and others. You agreed to those restrictions when you obtained your driving license, and you agreed to suffer the consequences of breaking laws in relation to them. We all need to think in terms of “freedom from” rather than “freedom to.”
By obeying societal laws we can enjoy more “freedom from” just punishments, personal self injury and even early death. By not smoking, for example, we can increase our chances of greater “freedom from” many health problems and numerous other natural consequences of such unwise behaviour.
Likewise, by practising social distancing, wearing masks and frequently washing our hands we gain “freedom from” a greater likelihood of contracting the sickness caused by COVID-19 viruses. So is it true for receiving one of the vaccines that soon will become available to ward off the pandemic that has crippled the world and the lives and incomes of millions
of people. To sum it all up we need to ask the question of ourselves, “Do I want ‘freedom to’ or ‘freedom from?’ It seems the latter is the better choice — overwhelmingly so.