By Angela Nicole Brentano


A necessity of freedom is that we all have ready access to accurate, helpful, and complete information, without coercion or distraction. The citizenry must be enlightened in order to make its best choices, in order to maximize its freedom. Freedom is increased by being aware of as many effective options as can be determined.

Another requirement of freedom is to have equality in relationships. This means that no one has unreasonable power over another person; thus, interfering with another's freedom. If one is overpowered, he or she is not free to act without pressure. Being pressured into making a choice is not a freely made choice.

An example of equality in relationships can be found amongst friends, deciding upon what to do when they go out. Each friend may suggest an option or proclaim flexibility to options. Afterward, they decide what to do as a group. The goal is that everyone is satisfied. This is the process of consensus decision-making.

An example of inequality in relationships exists in many workplaces. In such settings, one or few people make decisions that affect the majority of people. This is top-down policy-making verses egalitarian/lateral policy-making. Hierarchies/inequities also exist in the military, the corporation, and in some public and religious organizations. Are there any hierarchical relationships in your life?

I believe that people can (and will do well to) participate in policy-making to the degree that a policy affects them. Incidentally, this strengths self-confidence. Consensus decision-making provides everyone with the same opportunity. Everyone is equal. Everyone is free from being overpowered.

I consider the ideas, above, to be essential to the definition of freedom. What aspects of your life are free? Are you interested in working together to achieve and maintain freedom?

Everyone's well-intentioned input is valuable; so consider sharing your ideas. Our world will be what we make of it.