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Everybody aspires to be free. Freedom gives humans the opportunity to reach their highest potentials and to fulfill inner desires and dreams. However, people sometimes take advantage and abuse their individual freedom for selfish desires and intentions. Abuse of freedom may eventually lead to destruction and imbalance that will affect the society as a whole. It is not surprising that some philosophers and thinkers like Plato and Confucius believe that in order to achieve balance and harmony, one must regulate life and society. They saw how people may abuse their freedom of choice.
These philosophers’ journey towards knowing what is right and wrong highly influenced the creation of laws, government, and order. However, what if total freedom is being encouraged by parents, employers, administrators, and the state as a whole? Would balance and harmony be possible in this kind of ideology? There is one philosopher who stood up among all philosophers who believe that government is necessary: Lao Tzu. As an avid believer of carefree lifestyle who was clearly skeptical about power and those who exercise it, Lao Tzu motivated the creation of Taoism through his writings.
He believed that laws and regulations that restrict people would just lead to rebellion, confusion, poverty, and turmoil. Taxes can make people starve and can encourage corruption among those in the position. Interference due to laws can create rebellion since not everybody shares the same beliefs and principles. This was made clear in Lao Tzu’s words: “Without laws or compulsion, men would dwell in harmony” (citation). Order and laws for Lao Tzu are only but sophistication that will just create greater and more complicated problems in the future. “All real human problems arise from the antinomy of order and freedom.
The question that needs to be addressed is: If true, what are the implications for parents and employers who exercise orders? In order to eradicate or better say to minimize human problems cause by order and freedom, one must exercise it correctly. Orders must not restrict an employee to discover his or her full potentials that will benefit both the employee and the company. Orders given by a particular employer must be both beneficial to the company and the employees. In relation to Lao Tzu’s ideas, most homes and businesses establish rules or policies that have to be followed.
At home, children need order from parents to be good and productive individuals in the future. Most parents claim that they give orders for the child’s own sake. Reward and punishment are two consequences of following and not following orders. Children basically need order since they are still in the process of mind’s development in terms of distinguishing right from wrong. An order given by parents becomes their first guide. Rules and boundaries at work are highly important as well. Implication for parents is to give your children space, but not enough so that they get lost.
Implication for management is perhaps down-top management, involving your workers empowers them thus reduces conflict. Reward systems that are based on performance or opportunities for advancement inside the company are all factors that increase individual freedom thus reduces conflict. People from different cultures and races have different moral judgment, so laws were created to unite everybody under one moral standard. They are essential to encourage a healthy community. However, some children and employees rebel because rules sometimes restrict them from fully expressing and discovering themselves.
Schumacher (year of publication) seems to agree with Lao Tzu in terms of the consequences of order and domination. Nevertheless, Schumacher (year of publication) also seemed to reconsider the possible effects of individual freedom when it is being exercised in the wrong manner. Since individual freedom is inclined to be abused, it is inevitable for the state to create laws and regulations as the basis of morality. Order is intended to maintain community’s harmony, so is freedom. Both can benefit from interacting with other people to enhance human attachment.
Freedom of choice becomes unacceptable when it is driven by selfishness. Rules and order are important to give further justification for those who abuse their power of freedom. Rules and freedom are actually both important to create a sense of individuality since it motivates belongingness, harmony, and balance. A human problem from individual freedom starts when it is abused by those who exercise it. Orders and rules will create conflict when those who implement them give too much restriction that limits the members of the society to express their individuality.