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Self Expression: The Foundation Of Freedom

By Edited Apr 6, 2016 10 12

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I want freedom for the full expression of my personality.” 
-Mahatma Gandhi.

From the moment we are born our ultimate goal in life is the same as that of every other human being that has ever lived. That goal is to express ourselves.

This can easily be observed in young children. Simply stack a pile of blocks and what do they do? Knock them down of course, and then look to see who was watching! Even the instant we are born we are expressing ourselves. We come out crying,"Hello world hear what I have to say!" If you have ever sat and watched a child you have seen the art of self expression in its truest form. No self conscious decisions, no trying to fit in, no anxieties about doing or saying the "wrong" things. They simply think and immediately act out every thought that enters their uncorrupted minds.

As we mature the influence of society starts to take its effect. Parents constantly telling you no, other children laughing at you for being unique, or simply because you were born different in some way. Whatever the case may be we are all influenced into suppressing the articulation of our true self just so we can fit in with the rest of society.

Not This Guy

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"Man discovers real freedom the moment he loses concern over what impression he is making."-Bruce Lee

Many people today still have a problem expressing who they truly are. This leads to random acts of violence or chronic depression when they feel they no longer have a voice or "place" in society. How many times have you not bought or worn a piece of clothing that you liked deep down but knew that it wasn't socially acceptable? Or simply changed the way you speak or hold back what you want to say, even if you wanted to be heard, just to fit in and not potentially offend someone that might be listening?

How about your view of others expressing themselves? How many times have you judged someone else simply by the music they listen to or the clothes they wear? Maybe their accent or skin color was different and made you feel uncomfortable. But doesn't everyone have a given right to simply be who they are? Love who they want to love, wear what they like to wear and express their personality to the fullest without the fear of being ridiculed or socially rejected?

We often spend most of our lives trying to fit in but what we really want is to show the world who we are.

zipper girl
True happiness cannot be obtained without unrestrained self expression. An easy way to test this is to imagine being told exactly what clothes you could wear, what music you had to listen to, how to act and what you could or couldn't say? You would have no identity and certainly wouldn't be very happy. The clothes we wear, the things we say, sports, art and music are all examples of ways we can express ourselves. Even silence itself is a way of declaring that you don't wish to speak!

Unexpressed emotions will never die. They are buried alive and will come forth later in uglier ways.-Sigmund Freud

There was a time when the suppression of self expression was somewhat beneficial to society.

During this time, the time of the Industrial revolution and long before, it was often beneficial to have less diversity, less individuality. If everyone was "alike" and shared the same views they would be closer as a community and therefore more productive. Diversity and self-expression would ultimately create an uncomfortable environment for many and ultimately inhibit the growth of the industry. There was no place or need for expressing oneself at the time. No advantages to being outspoken and unique.

Times have changed.

Thankfully, that time has passed and we are now living in an age were expressing ourselves is not only acceptable but often encouraged. We are now living in the information age, an age of innovation and ideas, no longer forced to be financial slaves to the oppressive systems our governments had created. We exist in a most exciting time where our ideas, the things that make each and everyone of us unique and invaluable, allow us to become financially free.

Knowledge based societies cannot function effectively without highly-educated workers, who inevitably become articulate and accustomed to thinking for themselves. Furthermore, rising levels of economic security bring a growing emphasis on self-expression values that give high priority to free choice.

In this age of opportunity we can now support ourselves and those we love simply by being who we are and sharing our ideas with the world! There has never been a time where it has been so easy to make a living sharing your ideas with the world.



I present you with opportunity

The opportunity of enlightenment and true freedom. To break free of the constraints society has placed upon you and find out who you really are. Accept this challenge to be yourself, to be unique and different. Make the choice to be yourself before the choice is no longer yours...

"We are so accustomed to disguise ourselves to others that in the end we become disguised to ourselves." -François Duc de La Rochefoucauld



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Apr 28, 2013 12:49pm
Very nice and true article. It is to our advantage that today we're allowed more freedom to be ourselves. We still get some criticism though, but we can survive it.
Apr 29, 2013 9:36am
Criticism is a gift and you have to realize it actually has nothing to do with you! It is just another person expressing their fear of how they see the world and how they think you should be. Accept it as an opportunity to motivate yourself even harder!
Apr 29, 2013 8:21am
Thank Lock for this wonderful and powerful word you have shared with infobarrel viewers and the world at large,i use to have this problen too.
Apr 29, 2013 9:31am
Thanks benny! I wrote this article from the heart to express my philosophy on self expression, unlike many of my more factual based articles.
Apr 30, 2013 3:09am
Sometimes it feels that one is destined to search for individual freedom, in case he feels like achieving things and living a happy life of course! Interesting report Locke.
May 20, 2013 5:55am
I thought the Freud quote was particularly true
May 20, 2013 8:19am
and the articles from the heart are always recognisable and enjoyable to read...really nice article.
May 20, 2013 10:39pm
It is a shame that children often express themselves less as they get older. It is funny how babies do not care who hears them screaming or what they think. Adults often conform to what is "politically correct", instead of standing up for what they believe in. If more people had the courage to stand up for their principles, I think that this world would be a better place. Thank you for this article, Locke.
May 21, 2013 2:01pm
Hi, I liked your comment, curiosity44. I recently read somewhere that the most common word children hear is "no". This accounts for 80% of the conversations they experience in their early years, and may be part of the reason why natural, free expression of young people and adults is so lacking. Whether we know it or not, we live in a world system that is based on 'training' people to be something they are not.
May 21, 2013 1:42pm
A meaningful article, thanks for sharing. Self expression is a subject that interests me and I can relate to what you've written about.

It's understandable that we live in a world of conformity. Suppression of the personality automatically begins from birth. The expectations of parents, family, society all begin to force, shape and control natural expression until the human soul finds itself having to act out from a cage.

Once realizing how powerful this form of conditioning and social programming is, then it's time for a person to uncover the real self, the true essence of who they really are. Only by having full awareness of the oppression can a person make the decision to leave it behind. 'Finding Joe' is a movie that discusses similar themes and I highly recommended it to anyone who is on the path to finding themselves.
May 21, 2013 8:12pm
This is an great article!
May 22, 2013 11:50am
Freedom is a blessing. Thank GOD we live in a world where we can express ourselves freely.
Thanks for sharing your thought.
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