Most people I know, are generally of the idea that believing in liberalism is just an excuse for being immoral. If somebody comes across as liberal-leaning, he/she is immediately cast into a wine-drinking /gambling/promiscuous stereotype. I have been thinking long and hard on this topic, and I have come to the conclusion that there is a reason why people believe in this stereotype. And the reason is the behaviour of some of the so-called ‘liberals’ themselves (don’t scoff me, there are plenty of those around).
People, and especially my generation, are most likely confused about what being a liberal means. Again, I come to the words and meaning debate: a word can have several different meanings and images attached to it, but they are not necessarily accurate. So here are a few thought-provoking questions to ask yourself:
Does voting for a Liberal government make you a liberal?
Does wearing a certain type of clothing make you a liberal?
Does studying in certain schools make you one?
Does scoffing the ‘conservative’-types make you one?
Does glorifying certain personalities make you a liberal?
Does your indifference to religion make you a liberal?
Or is it simply about allowing yourself a justification for doing things that go against your cultural norms and traditions? (i.e. alcohol consumption, going to bars/clubbing, you get my drift...)
Simply googling the term ‘liberalism’ brings me to its core idea: the belief in importance of equal rights and freedom/liberty for every human being. This... Is...It.
A person who believes in equal rights for all humans on this planet, and believes in every person’s right to freedom, is a liberal. Frankly, without going into a philosophical debate, and adding tons of layered meaning to this rather simple way of thinking... anybody can be a liberal. A person can dress any way they like, and still hold the highest importance to these two fundamental aspects of liberalism. Similarly, nobody can judge another person based on outward appearance, about how conservative or liberal they might be. And if you are a true liberal at heart, you would stop yourself right before you make that judgement.
So does it sound like such a bad thing now? I don’t think so.
“Live and Let Live” and come to the liberal side!