The first thing that comes to my mind when I hear the word freedom is slavery. I think about all those people who were deprived from their freedom, and forced to serve someone else. So if you asked me a month ago if I believed I was free, the answer would have been yes. Never the less, if you ask me now, the answer would have been completely different.
Within a Peruvian culture, I’ve been raised to believe that the boundaries that society puts us are unbreakable. I’ve always been told what I should do and what I shouldn’t, to the point that my soft wired brain has been molded to fit society’s boundaries. For example, little boys are raised with the stereotype that boys should be strong and tough. Even years later, boys grow with this mindset that deprives them from crying or showing their feelings. So this brings me to the question; how does the culture and environment we live in mold our brain and the way we think?
Am I a slave of society?
I kept on thinking about this topic, and came across habits and phobias. Can we control them? No. But can we gradually defeat them? Yes. Some people have the bad habit of biting their nails when they get nervous, they aren’t aware when they are doing it, and aren’t in control of it; but their brain is. On the other hand, I have a tremendous fear that could be considered a phobia, a fear of shots. Everytime I have to get a shot, I get very anxious, I start thinking about how much it will hurt me, and I loose control of my mind. Can I control this fear? No.
Am I a slave of my fears and habits?
Finally I came to the conclusion that neither the brain controls us nor we control the brain. Naturally, the brain will take control when we are not capable of dealing with what we are confronted to. Never the less, we can learn to control the brain, we can learn to control what we feel, what we want, and what we fear, etc. Freedom begins when we stop seeking for other’s approval, and become insensitive to the boundaries set by society.