In last night's episode of Supernatural (an awesome show btw), this question was posed to one of the main characters: "What would you rather have, peace or freedom?" This question has been preying on my mind since.
Peace, to me, would be the absence of worry, of sadness, of the need to think for oneself. Peace would be having someone to take care of everything so that I would not need to be concerned with anything at all. Everything and everyone would be the same, following the same rules, living the same lives, even decorating their homes the same way . . . very peaceful.
Freedom, on the other hand, would be to have the ability to choose for yourself how you wish to live - whether it be in a peaceful state or one filled with both joy and pain. You are free to think for yourself, free to believe the way you want, free to live how you please without fear of repercussions or censure. You might want to live a life spent tending rose gardens around your house while your neighbor enjoys using rusty auto parts to make lawn sculptures in his yard. While there might be certain rules that everyone as a society agrees upon (murder and thievery is generally bad, while rusty lawn sculptures are negotiable), you both have the right to choose how you wish to live.
In my opinion, I've now experienced both. I was born and raised in the US where freedom is practically a religion. I've also spent the last decade in Denmark, where peace is the lay of the land. It has been a learning experience and has shown me exactly which one I prefer. While a peaceful existence is exactly that, for me it's stifling and lethargic. There is no need to think, to care, to exert oneself. The natives have lived a peaceful existence their entire lives and it shows in the lack of creativity and expressiveness, as well as a fear of anything that is different. A free life, while there could be pain and unexpected side paths, is a life filled with exhilaration and energy. For myself, I choose freedom.
What would you choose?