What does freedom mean to you?

Most of us don’t understand the difference between one’s right over the other versus one’s control over the other. There is so much overlap that we end up controlling others and mess-up our relationships. What does freedom mean to you?

What does freedom mean to you?

We all want freedom. The more we believe we have it, the more we want of it. Because, freedom cannot be had. It can only be. When we want freedom, we go all out to get it. When you don’t understand something, you create a notion about it. You believe, this is freedom. And when you get your notional feeling of freedom, you want more of it. And when you have it, you are not content with it. You want others to have it too. You begin to impose your notion of freedom unto others. You want others as well to own your notion. You will feel hurt when others don’t listen to you. We use our notional feelings to control others. When we are confronted, we justify that we are doing this for them, because we love them.

I have a right over my family…

We have a right over our family. What does this mean? Is having the right over your family the same as having control over your family members? I have a right to provide the best resources for my family. I have a right to think of my spouse and kid’s wellbeing. I have a right. 

However, I don’t have control over what they want for themselves. When my kids are young, I can tell them what is good for them and what is not. That is a part of safe upbringing. However, as they grow up, my right over them remains, but, my control over their choices and decisions is over. I can have no more of that. The sooner I get this clear in my head and heart, the better it is for both of us. Else, there’s going to be trouble in the house… screaming, shouting, blaming, justifying and all that.

Most of us don’t understand the difference between one’s right over the other versus one’s control over the other. There is so much overlap that we end up controlling others and mess-up our relationships. 

Having the right over my family means to care for their safety, security, their nourishment and nurturing. 

Controlling someone means that I decide what others must do and how they must do it, when, how much and all that. It’s like I run their life. Most, women are ok with their spouse and children expressing their right over them. They feel they belong somewhere. That someone cares for them. But, they won’t let that person control their choices and decisions! That is how a woman’s life ends…   in depression.


I remember… years ago, when my father chose to take allopathic treatment, I told him; Dad, I will be by your beside because you are my father. It is my responsibility to be by your side. But, I do not agree with your choice and decision of going to an allopath. I knew his problem, I knew that there was no solution in the science he chose for his treatment, but, there was nothing I could do despite the fact that I knew that there was treatment in ayurveda which I practice. I couldn’t force him. I did not want to control him.

In the end, his choice took his life. For him, I was his strength, only because; I stood by him, no matter what choices he made. He was free to decide what he wanted. If he had asked me, I would’ve told him. He wanted to have his way.


God gave us freedom to express ourselves. Lest, we use it to control others.

People around us are happier when we are ourselves and let others be how they choose to be. In the end, our choices, decisions and experiences bring to us the learnings. Only that helps us grow. The more you control others, the less you learn. Not only that! You also prevent the other from learning.

So, next time… choose to exercise your right to offer help to your family, friends, relatives and acquaintances, but without forcing them to accept your offer. That way, you will let them live and learn from life. Happiness is in giving. Not in forcing people to accept your gifts. There is no freedom in control.

— Dr. Mahesh Krishnamurthy

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