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The word “free” is defined as not being under the power or control of another. Being truly free means that one has the power over themselves to act or do as they please. Some may believe that we are undeniably free, considering that the only thing that holds the power to compromise our freedom is the law that reinforces consequences for unacceptable actions committed by a person.

However, I beg to differ seeing that society as we know it has indoctrinated us in a system that was created to benefit the few people who hold great wealth and power in the world. Even though we may have the freedom of speech, thought and religion, there is something that is often missed by many of us who make up the population of the modern world society. This being that from the moment we are able to grasp and respond to the yeses and nos of society, we are unknowingly put in a box and are told how to speak, what to say and how to think.

Over time, being told how to perform these things will mold us into individuals who will one day be suitable enough to govern society, while unfortunately doing nothing other than continuing the cycle of the mental deprivation of our freedom. I believe that this subconscious system of oppression is the cause for people to act out of societal norms. This allows individuals to become more prone to create a stigma and raise questions around their actions.

Although freedom could be thought of as an illusion, it is important not to generalize all control as purely evil, as the majority of the laws that are systematically in place are for our benefit. This is because without these, we may be motivated to engage in brutal behaviour. For example, if there was no law or system in place to imprison those who commit cold-blooded murder, then murdering a person may become something that may be seen as normal or even okay, as every person would have done it because they would be acting on impulse rather than being rational in thought before proceeding with action.

Naturally, we make decisions based on the influences of society and the people closest to us in our lives. So arguably, the idea that we never truly think for ourselves plays a factor in whether or not we were ever truly free at all. Every person, whether they intentionally try to or not, makes decisions based on what will and will not be accepted by society. I believe that at some point throughout every person’s life, they go through stages that makes them more susceptible to fall into the expectations of society, rather than others who have already come to the realization of the true matters of the world. Many have the willpower to outgrow this stage, but there are also a great number of individuals that don’t, and who are comfortable with abiding by the “normalized” influences of society. 

At the very beginning of our lives, we have limited power of free thought and decision and we are all put under regulated laws that compel us to behave in a certain manner ultimately resulting in many of us making decisions influenced by societal expectations. With this being said, it is up to you to free your mind from the shackles society has instilled in us all.


Ebony Bryan

Laurier Brantford '22

Hello everyone! My name is Ebony Bryan and I'm a 2nd-year Criminology Student at Wilfrid Laurier University. I'm all thing's 90's, feminism and human rights.
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