It’s a truth universally acknowledged that freedom has an important position in both eastern and western culture. To some extent the East focuses on internal freedom while the West cares more about external one.
The west believes everyone ought to fight for their own freedom to remain the state of nature, which is based on not invading others’ rights. The example mentioned in the poem “To the lady” that Kitty Genovese’s scream was heard but no one came to help also convincingly proved that you cannot make your own freedom depend on others. In comparison, the ancient east thought the responsibility of people’s freedom should be taken by their ruler or government even though quite a lot of people dislikes their government.
Another variation between the west and east is that the west emphasizes on how to be completely free while the east seek for being satisfied. The famous English philosopher John Locke made a theory on Natural Law, which talked about “No one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty or possessions.” He pursues a society without the government. On the contrary, according to Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching, the government’s duty was make the people work for the collective so that everyone would not suffer from hunger. However, it would definitely cause lots of dispute and unfairness. That’s why Lao Tzu said people should be self-satisfied. In this way, freedom also has some kind of boundaries.