Freedom, at least the way we normally define it, does not matter. When we’re having a rough day, work has been awful, we just missed the train, then squeeze onto the next one, just to end up being stuck between the doors and the corner of a huge, solid handbag – that’s when we’re thinking of freedom.
How nice would it be to just drop all this, like a weight on our hearts, just breathe in, make the armour burst, and shed it all. Free from all the repetitive, daily stressful things occurring in our hamster wheel. We’re gazing up, towards the ceiling of the train carriage – which is the only place where we can safely direct our attention to without needing to look someone straight into the eye (we already know what we can see there: the very same annoyance with life in general that we’re feeling right now). And what’s up there, at the ceiling?
These smart marketing people know exactly how we feel, they’re able to search our soul for the stuff we’re craving. And, sure enough, there they are, the ads for travel insurance, cheap flights abroad, and, inevitably, for evening and online universities (Birkbeck, anyone?).
And that’s the key. When we’re annoyed, we think of all the stuff we’re dying to get rid of. We want to “be free FROM”.
And this is why it won’t work. Being free from unpleasant “stuff” is nice, but will only leave a vacuum. We need to desire to “be free TO”.
We need to die for this opportunity, for this longing, trying to still the fire within. Only following our passion will be able to do this. This is scary stuff. My first reaction would be: “But – what should I do instead??”
And there’s only one answer: Do what you want to do with this life. But before you can get started, you’ll need to figure out not only what you want to be free from, but also why you want to be free from all that stuff – namely to do WHAT?
There’s a minor shift here, but a crucial one: The thought pattern turns from a negative one (getting rid of unpleasant stuff) into a positive one (what would I love to do?).
Here’s to FREEDOM, in all its shades and meanings! What is freedom for you?