Sunday, July 25, 2021
Editorial

Fettered freedom

Free Will is divinely gifted but it doesn’t come with out consequences ~ therefore responsibilities. It also doesn’t come with a user’s manual ~ Free Will is free will, after all. So, while life is the most precious gift, it also is not free of hard choices and tough decisions, which makes life challengingly precious and beautiful. Imagine life without Free Will, choices and decisions ~ we wouldn’t be human beings. So, because Free Will entails numerous choices and decisions every day ~ an integral part of human life ~ Free Will also denotes fettered freedom. It’s hard because it’s difficult to know whether we are making the right choices and decisions since we also have to live with the consequences, which affect our dear and near ones and the world around us one way or the other. Free Will also entails accountability because none of us are islands unto ourselves, therefore our choices and decisions cannot be bordered and fenced in ~ they transcend beyond us. This means that we cannot afford to make selfish and self-centered choices and decisions but must keep in mind the greatest good of the greater number of people. This is the core of the individual versus the collective debate ~ but we have the Free Will, and hopefully the wisdom and maturity, to choose and decide on issues that demand prioritization ~ either of the individual or the collective. So, let’s now focus on an issue of individual Free Will juxtaposed with the collective good or bad of the COVID vaccination. On what basis do we make that decision? How well versed are we on the subject? What is the source of our knowledge on the issue and how reliable are our sources? What are the credentials of our sources? What are their ideological, political, ethical and cultural leanings, beliefs, biases and prejudices? All issues demands that we ask these and numerous other pertinent questions before we make choices and decisions but perhaps no issue demands that more than vaccination in these COVID times against the background of today’s information overload. If you are against the COVID vaccination on the basis of social media postings and forwards then your teachers didn’t teach you to think independently hence have failed you miserably. If you are against the vaccination on the basis of what your Reverend, Pastor, Preacher, Priest, Evangelist, Deacon or Church workers say referring to the number 666 or some other chapters or verse in Revelations or some other books of the Bible, which you yourself haven’t read but believe and accept the interpretations or misinterpretations at face value, question you faith and evidence-based knowledge. If you are fearful of this vaccination or any other injection ~ you are plain chicken-livered ~ so search yourself, find the strength within you and empower yourself to separate superstition from science, false preaching from faith, myths from facts and fear from freedom. Free Will, choices, decisions, rights, liberties and freedoms are weighty responsibilities that result in consequences therefore never free of the ethicality of human life. Therefore, when we exercise Free Will to be vaccinated or not, we must be aware that our decision is intrinsically linked to another person’s well-being and life. Scientists and health experts have underlined that vaccination is the best way to fight and fend off this virus ~ so when we decide against COVID vaccination, we must be fully seized of all facts and also question whether our vaccine hesitancy is endangering our brethren’s health and life. This is the least an educated, religious, ethical and a socially-aware person owe to others and oneself. Of course, nobody wants to die and the prospect of dying after two years of vaccination, as propagated without evidence by some scientists and experts ~ much forwarded in social media ~ is scary. But who can predict anyone’s time of death? Except for charlatans, none. The Bible says that only God knows a person’s time of birth and death. Hopefully you read the Bible? Anyone is free to exercise Free Will but while doing so, others must not be endangered. Yes, there are risks involved with vaccination but so are many things we do in the course of living. Science says total vaccination is crucial to end the pandemic, which shouldn’t be hard for us to understand because it is in our DNA to prioritize the collective over the individual. Therefore, why this vaccine hesitancy in Nagaland? Obtuseness?

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