Sixth installment in the A-Z series. F is for Freedom.
Freedom is something that is talked about a lot however rarely accomplished. People have different ideas about Freedom. How Free are we? Often a phrase from the movie Wayne’s World comes to mind “It costs a lot to live this free.”
Are you free? How many of the decisions of the day have already been made for you before you even wake up? What you will be doing today? Who you will interact with? What you believe to be true? Is it possibly all part of a pre-packaged thought package you bought into as a child? Is your life truly made up of authentic thoughts and deductions made from personal experiences and desires?
This became clear to me when I worked in a position that didn’t allow me as an adult to go to the bathroom without asking permission. Although I understood where the employer was coming from, an upper management supervisor wanted to be sure that the phones were covered by a person at all times. However, something about having to ask permission for something so basic and fundamental began to weigh on me.
Then the inventory began which revealed that I was being told, when to wake up, when to eat, when to sleep, when to go to the bathroom, when I could spend time with my children, when I could take a vacation. All this is already decided for me. For my friend at the time who was religious and had children in sports her weekends and thoughts about many subjects had already been decided for her. She really had little to no room for free thought or decisions at all.
This seemed odd to me that so much of identity especially as an American is about Freedom. Yet, so few are actually free. Are you happy with the level of Freedom in your life?
Of course one could say that a homeless man on the street is free yet many would not choose that lifestyle. We trade freedom for security. We trade freedom for a luxurious cage. The movie Madagascar touches on this where the lion enjoys his pampering, the giraffe wants his prescription medication, the hippo doesn’t mind being taken care of if that means she can’t be free. The zebra isn’t happy though and wants to see the wild. I am the zebra type. It’s much more challenging yet also rewarding.
As long as what you are is authentic to your chosen experience it’s all good. However if there is a feeling of frustration and dissatisfaction. It may be that blank gaps of freedom time needs to be put into your schedule. These are wonderful times of spontaneousness that Life can fill in with the most wonderful and surprising experiences. Enjoy Freedom it is one of the miracles of being alive.