Freedom with quality and integrityLI201711-01
A disciplined mind gives rise to freedom of thoughts, speech and action for all
Discipline brings freedom
Freedom of actions, speech and thoughts does not mean we can do anything we like with our body, say anything we want and think anything we like. We still have to be disciplined with our actions, speech and thoughts to avoid causing ourselves and others distress, feel uneasy or suffer from it – hence losing everyones freedom.
Below are some examples of how our abuse of freedom without discipline, virtue and for selfish reasons can destroy us and others.
Freedom in actions abused:
E.g. A lady dress in an exposed manner thinking by doing so it make her appear more pretty and confident. Although she managed to exercise her freedom of what she wants to wear, she cause others to feel uncomfortable or disgusted, and a man who cannot control his impulses well end up raping her and jailed, losing his freedom. The lady was scarred psychologically and lost her emotional and mental freedom. Being discipline with feelings of pride and lust brings freedom.
E.g. A father likes to eat whatever he wants to eat, but when he fall sick due to his addiction to tasty and unhealthy food, his son have to pay his hefty medical bills and face financial and family problems as a result. The father lost his physical freedom and the son and his family lost their mental and emotional freedoms. Being discipline with eating brings freedom.
Freedom in speech abused:
E.g. A bad tempered and impatient woman kept scolding and arguing with her elderly mother over minor things, in the end the mother developed anxiety and depression, the lady was regretful over he reactivity, but it was too late. The mother lost her emotional freedom and the lady lost her mental freedom burdened from her guilty conscience. Being discipline by having patience brings freedom.
E.g. A junior chef working in a bakery hears his colleagues scolding foul language and cracking dirty jokes, he joined in with them and soon using foul language and saying dirty jokes became his habit. Some of his good friends stayed away from him because of his uncouth speech. The chef lost his mental freedom. Being discipline with saying improper things brings freedom.
Freedom in thoughts abused:
E.g. A teenager was introduced to a porn website by classmates. Out of curiosity he visited to watch some videos. He became addicted and think about relationship and sex with girls all the time, on top of that he masturbated and started to develop brain fog – hence unable to concentrate in his studies. His mind and body was no longer carefree like the past and he is unable to stop thinking about women and masturbation. In the end, his health and studies deteriorate and he lost his entry to university. He lost his mental and physical freedom. Being discipline with sexual desire brings freedom.
E.g. A mother was very suspicious and possessive of her adult daughter although the daughter was a good daughter. The daughter as a result felt frustrated as her freedom to peruse the things in her life was compromised because of the mother’s insecurity. Both mother and daughter lost their mental freedoms. Being discipline with our desire to control others brings freedom.
We have to be aware that our freedom can be:
1) Used positively or
We have a choice to choose 1) or 2). When our thoughts, speech and actions follow discipline, virtue and unselfishness – we will use our freedom positively and protect the continued freedom for ourselves and others.
To choose 1), we have to be
a) conscious of what is happening in our mind by training in being clearly aware and truly honest with our deepest intention behind why we want to think, say or do certain things
b) mindful of the results of our choice by training in deep reflection of the consequences on ourselves and others
If we are unconscious, we will follow our irrational feelings and conditioned habits – many of which are not necessary positive.
In general, if it is for a selfish reason – out of our greed, hatred, ignorance, pride, suspicion, jealousy – we must be careful about going ahead with it, as many times these reactive, unconscious decisions that satisfy us immediately will lead to suffering of others around us and ourselves later.