The word ‘Freedom’, according to the dictionary, has many definitions… such as ‘the right to speak, act or think as one wants’, or ‘the state of not being imprisoned or enslaved…’ or ‘the absence of subjection to foreign domination.’
But perhaps my favourite definition is this:
“The power of self-determination attributed to the will; the quality of being independent of fate or necessity.”
Since the above statement looks like a plethora of neatly-arranged buzzwords, permit me to break it down a bit further:
‘The power of self-determination’ – this pays tribute to the individual ability to dream – to project – and to aspire for something of worth.
‘attributed to the will’ – this is where the proverbial rubber hits the road. It reverences the ability and readiness to strive – to work hard – and to give it all it takes.
‘the quality of being independent of fate or necessity’ – this statement aims, firstly, to shatter the ‘arithmetic’ way that life seeks to hand out growth and progress to an individual, as is evident in the use of the term ‘fate’ and ‘necessity’- and then calls for a more ‘exponentially progressive’ development blueprint.
To put some context to the title of this blogpost, I attend one of the most intense entrepreneurship programs in the world. And everyday without exception, before we begin activities, we have this 12-statement creed – a ‘Superhero Oath’, we call it – to which we place our hands on our chest, recite and internalize, with as much purpose, gusto and enthusiasm as possible, every single line.
This oath is one of the hardest personal commitments I’ve had to make in my entire life. And for good reason.
But I digress. Here’s the first line of the oath:
“I will promote freedom at all costs…”
The above phrase has different meanings to different people. But in addition to my earlier, generous breakdown of the dictionary definition of freedom, here’s what it really means to me:
As a change agent, in whatever capacity I find myself (Entrepreneur; Intrapreneur; Policy Maker; Citizen; Son; Earthling; Human), I believe it’s my fiduciary responsibility to promote freedom – for example, to give a kid from a not-so-privileged background access to world-class education; or to expand access to opportunities to those who might not be ‘commercially deserving’ enough, to help people become better version of themselves, or to build products and execute strategies that improve the quality of people’s lives – lives that, without my resolve and input, may not be able to reach their full potential…
And most importantly, to do so at all costs.
I believe in promoting freedom…in giving people the power to dream; To take their lives into their own hands and build the best possible outcomes. To not be limited by race, gender, ethnicity, colour, disability, upbringing, necessity or uncertainty. I believe that we’re done with the times where majority of people’s lives improved only 5-10% year-over-year. This ‘radical’ freedom is what I strongly advocate for.
As a quick disclaimer, I’m certainly not for all types of freedom, as I also believe there’s the destructive kind. That being said, I believe, in humble conclusion, that whatever freedom is noble, whatever freedom is right, pure, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy… is definitely and unapologetically worth fighting for.
On that, you can count me in.
Better still, I hope you can join me.