In Few Words, What is Freedom?

Here’s what I came up with while driving home just now, after checking in on my Airbnb which was just cleaned and prepped for my next guests, on the question, “What is freedom?”

Freedom is living life on my own terms, and respecting the freedom of everyone else to do likewise.

There are volumes of philosophical thinking on freedom packed within that one simple, elegant sentence. Try to imagine living under such a condition as this. When freedom is respected totally in society, there is no crime, public or private. The only forces standing in the way of doing anything you want in life are completely natural.

As a toddler, if you want to explore something, you are showed how to explore it safely. As a child, if you want to scream and play, you are showed how to do so in a suitable environment. As an adolescent, if you want to bury your head in books or video games, your chosen activities are respected. As an adult, if you want to build a business, nobody except unimpressed potential customers stand in your way.

These are but a microscopic fraction of the types of activities free people may engage in without hindrance. The only obstacles that must be dealt with are those which the universe has put in our way. Never are they the unjustified demands of other people. If someone has something we want, we ask them how we may get it for ourselves.

Freedom is beautiful. It’s a warm cup of coffee in the morning, a sunny walk or drive to our preferred destination, an activity engaged in for the sake of interest, and the loving arms of someone who loves and cares about us.

I think that if we want freedom, we must acknowledge what freedom is, and commit to living in freedom. My life is mine to do with as I please, as is yours. I don’t ask for permission, and neither should you.

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Founder and editor of and, Skyler is a husband and unschooling father of three beautiful children. His writings include the column series “One Voluntaryist’s Perspective” and “One Improved Unit,” and blog series “Two Cents“. Skyler also wrote the books No Hitting! and Toward a Free Society, and edited the books Everything Voluntary and Unschooling Dads. You can hear Skyler chatting away on his podcasts, Everything Voluntary and Thinking & Doing.