The difference between the slave and the free man is not only one of status, in this case that the first is enslaved to another, whereas the second is not enslaved. We could find an educated slave enjoying boundless freedom as well as the opposite, a free man with the spirit of a slave. The freedom to be unique is that same elevated spirit which uplifts man and the entire people, to be true to his inner self, to the spiritual quality of God’s image within him, and in such a quality he can consider his life as worthy and purposeful. This is not so for one who has the attitude of a slave; the content of his life and feelings never correspond with his own spiritual qualities but only by what is beautiful and good in the other who rules over him in any way at all, whether officially or morally-with what this other sees as beautiful and good.
– Rabbi A. I. Kook, Olat HaRiya