My new definition of freedom is pursuing what gives us meaning or purpose, regardless of the pain it brings or the pleasure it takes away.
This means only pursuing base pleasures like drugs and sex don’t make us free. People become chained to them the same way a prison chains them to a wall. The difference is the chains spring from ourselves and not others. It’s a lot harder to figure out they’re chains at all. Since they please us, they’re also tougher to escape.
Being free means fighting against external and internal forces trying to take it from us. To pull us into their journeys instead of us finding our own. For our reasons. Even if it makes us suffer more.
Next time someone talks about the importance of freedom, look for their invisible chains. Like if they chain themselves in front of a television for hours, or to other peoples’ bodies every night. Are they all that free?