Freedom is the ability to do what you want, more or less. Sometimes a lot more and sometimes a lot less.

Everybody loves freedom. That’s because we all have our own personal definitions of what it means to be free. For some people, freedom means speaking openly about controversial topics without fear of punishment. For others, it’s running stark naked through a crowded city square. Still others believe freedom is owning five hundred assault rifles, marrying the people they love, smoking indoors, taking drugs recreationally, driving a car, riding a bike, paying no taxes, paying only certain taxes, telling children the world is six thousand years old, leaving the country without the permission of a male relative, owning property, going to school, not going to school, dancing, writing, yelling, or feeling safe enough to leave the house.

There are as many definitions of freedom as there are people who want to be free. That’s why it’s so easy for us to confuse “freedom” with “things we like.” It’s also why we should be extra critical of people who use “freedom” to justify their actions.