What is free?

We have so many understandings of what it means to be free, just take a bench…

The meaning of free

Text and drawing by Frits Ahlefeldt

Where I live there is a problem with the benches in the public parks at the moment. Someone is stealing all the benches… They are free, but not in that way

We often have different understandings of what it means that something is free and there are several different ways things can be “free” in.

Sitting on a free bench, we can be free to say our opinions, and free not to listen to other people talking about their opinions.

We are free to look at the birds and free to close our eyes for a minute… But often not free to put our feet up or sleep on the bench.

Free is both about freedom, but at least also as much about relationships and communities… If we don’t share anything, if our commons are privatized and our relationships dry up to nothing, and we all end up alone in front of screens – Then I wonder if “free” will lose its meaning

Will the bench still be free if nobody cares to use it?

Drawing of a bench with the text "free" on it. Illustration by Frits Ahlefeldt
“free” can mean many things

Keywords: community, commons, sharing, psychology

About Museum of Psychology – Visualizing psychology
We understand reality at least through a combination of metaphors, images, stories and experiences. But also through our dreams, understandings, feelings, music, walk of life, directions, expectations, relations… and even more dimensions.

Much of this have in common that we can somehow sketch up maps and drawings of these places, trails and situations. Here on Museum of Psychology I (Frits Ahlefeldt) am drawing up a slowly growing map of our many landscapes of understanding.

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