Freedom: "a privilege of maturity"

The word means many things to many people. To some, freedom is the noblest of human ideals. It means freedom of speech, of thought, of movement. It means the opportunity to chart one's own course in life, striving to achieve one's highest aspirations. It means the right to worship God according to one's deepest faith and convictions.

For others, freedom may be primarily associated with immediate human needs. To go to bed without being hungry, and even to be provided with a place of shelter in which to have a bed—such a fundamental liberation from poverty is one that much of the world still yearns to realize.

At the other end of the spectrum, particularly in affluent societies, freedom is sometimes confused with license. This is the mind-set of those who feel they have the right to do whatever they want to do, regardless of the consequences to others. Such "freedom"—the materialistic, pleasure-seeking, living-only-for-me approach to life—is a self-indulgent dead end. It is an immature view of liberty and is destructive to the morals, health, and peace of society.

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How not to worry
October 27, 1986

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