Exploring the Social Imagination

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

The Greatest Freedom is Within Borders!

You can only know who you are when you know who you are not...in that knowing is joy!

Really? Yes, of course that is why we agree to live and work in the same place with others because we have come to an agreement about how to live and work. Any kind of agreement is such because it has borders... it is definitive! It tells us and others who we are and are not and what we can do and can not do. Everyone wants for themselves the most freedom to do what they want but we would not agree for others to have that same kind of freedom because it may infringe on our freedom or even cause us harm that for them would not be 'harmful'... in their eyes.  For anyone to tell you that there is freedom without borders is anti-social and anti-freedom. Such a person is really about control...or else completely off their rocker, out in left field or a socio-psycho path (in sociology terms)... a person who gets pleasure from other people's mistakes,suffering, ignorance and or poor choices.

You cannot be a social actor if you have no borders. Its like trying to play a game with no rules. We have borders everywhere not just national borders. We have borders that we are not willing to cross if put in front of us and we create borders to protect us from insult and harm. We give borders to our children, our dogs, and we create them in our communities to serve our community for its protection and well being. Could we purposefully exclude someone or something? Of course and usually with the justification its for our own good and the good of others. Could we unintentionally exclude someone or something? Sure., because we don't always see others who would like to join in or become a member of. It is not on purpose... we just don't see them or hear them.

For example, one holiday season, there was a parade and it was known to be a crowded event. Even going early was no guarantee that you would get front row or see the parade at all. One time, early arrival did pay off but not one hundred percent. A very tall man was before us. He had to be almost 7 foot. No one could see around him and he did not budge. He was asked to move but his response was you should have come earlier. He was right. Why should his height be a problem for you ... he is just a guy like any guy wanting to see the parade with his child. But, for anyone else, it is a problem. Should he be banned or forced to pay a 'parade' fee or have to stand in the back ... surely he could see over the top of everyone.

The point is this... he did not see himself any different. He was in his world, the world of people and one could comment also the world of tall people. Yes, and for both reasons he is like any other person being a human person/man that wants to see the parade and yet he is obviously different. Even perhaps having an advantage that he may or may not be aware of.  But, by making a law that tells him he must be aware of his height, we take his personal freedom.

What does this have to do with borders? In the world of people there are borders and in the world of tall people too. The point is that having no borders will not change his height nor his view, nor his being a person with the same right to see the parade. In the end, if there were borders that stated this is the line where no one can pass, then at least he would be caught up in the same border and go no further. But, he would in the end still have the advantage. Point being, you cannot say that border give total freedom but certainly no borders give any more freedom. 

If there were no limits, no line that one could not pass over, it would be a free for all! At least with the limit, the line the border which no one can pass there is still the opportunity for all to be free and to get their early if they choose. In this, everyone knows the limit, the rules and expectations within.

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