Balancing Responsibility and Freedom

What do you have more of in your life? Responsibility or freedom? What is currently closer to your reality?

Are you a person who wakes up at 6, leaves the house at 7, rushes to get coffee, drives to work, works from 9 to 5, gets home, neglects to spend much time with the family, does some paperwork, watches some TV, then goes to bed at 12…?

Or are you more of a person who wakes up past noon, forgets to eat breakfast, turns on the TV, then calls some friends on the phone, goes on the internet afterwards, eats some dinner as the main supply of food during the entire day, watches more TV, and uses the internet before falling asleep at 3 AM?

The first person has way too much responsibility on their hands, while the other one has too much freedom on their hands. One has to worries about always staying sharp, competitive, and ahead of his business while the other worries about what to do in the next hour. The key is that these things go hand in hand. The more responsibility one has, the less freedom they will have. The more freedom one has, the less responsibility that will have. And you know what? They both lead to miserable lives.

If you have too much responsibility, you won’t have the freedom to enjoy the pleasures of life. Everything you do will be work, work, and more work causing unhealthy stress; all while time will pass by you unknowingly.

If you have too much freedom, you will become lazy and bored. You won’t know what to do next and won’t have any goals in life to motivate you, which will also cause stress and wasted time passing by as well.

If you want more freedom, you must take responsibility for your life. You can’t just complain about how you don’t have enough freedom because you somehow happen to be locked up in the same house as your parents, whom never stop nagging at you because you don’t have a job. You can’t complain if you have a professor who doesn’t speak good English and blame them for your bad test grades. You can’t complain if you are single, depressed, lonely and wishing for somebody to arrive at your doorsteps and sweep you off your feel. If you want more freedom, you must take responsibility for your own life!

If you find that the more balance your responsibility is with your freedom, it is a sign of a person who is taking charge of their life as well as earning their freedom.

Absolute freedom, however, does not also account for a happy life. Some people who are rich in the world still don’t spend their money wisely because they let their freedom take over their life, while forgetting about responsibility. They go back to being in debt or even finding themselves bankrupted. Many famous celebrities have gone through this unfortunate route.

A personal example of this is in high school, I woke up at 7 everyday and had class at 8, had lunch at the same exact time, and classes lasted until 2:30. Then being on a sports team such as basketball, tennis, and cross country, I often did not myself coming home before 4 or 5 o’clock. When I did get home, I watched about one hour of TV, ate dinner, did homework, went to sleep at 11 and woke up the next day at 7. This was the typical, monotonous, yet disciplined, lifestyle of a high school student.

The summer before college, I was scared and anxious since it was the first time I was going away from my parents’ house, experience what it would be like to have real “freedom.” During the first year, I had classes randomly – sometimes in the morning, sometimes in the afternoon – classes were every other day and never lasted more than 4 total hours per day, I ate whatever I wanted, and usually went to sleep pass way pass midnight chatting with my hall mates or staying on the computer. I was absolute freedom I finally thought! But my GPA sank to an all time low!

Even though I had a lot more freedom in college, I did not balance it with the responsibility required, thus my grades suffered dramatically and it took a while before I had to maintain better working habits in order to boost it back up. Nevertheless, I enjoyed college a lot more since high school always put you at its place and really limited you from experience life that for the first time, really tested your ability to be responsible.

Whether your scenario one of academics, social life, work life, or a life where you lay around doing nothing, it is important to balance out freedom and responsibility. To get more freedom, you have to be responsible for your actions instead of complaining, worrying, or blaming others. It’s all up to you. If have too much freedom, whether it’s freedom of time or freedom of money, be responsible with it as well, for you may see yourself losing some or all of it in the near future or in as quick as a snap.