In order to be free, you simply have to be so, without asking permission of anybody. You have to have your own hypothesis about what you are called to do, and follow it, not giving in to circumstances and complying with them. But that sort of freedom demands powerful inner resources, a high degree of self-awareness, a consciousness of your responsibility to yourself and therefore to other people. Alas, the tragedy is that we do not know how to be free — we demand freedom for ourselves at the expense of others and don’t want to waive anything of our own for the sake of someone else: that would be an encroachment upon our personal rights and liberties. All of us are infected today with an extraordinary egoism. And that is not freedom; freedom means learning to demand only of oneself, not of life or of others, and knowing how to give: sacrifice in the name of love.
∆ Andrei Tarkovsky, Sculpting in Time