There is something that happens in the quiet. When I am alone and no one can see me or hear me.
I often sing…I may even dance…And I don’t have to worry about what other think.
But I can fool myself in those times of quiet. I can pretend there really are no rules for me. I’m free.
And perhaps that is what we freedom is about. I am free to do what I want. No RULES.
Isn’t that what I thought freedom as an adult was? Free to choose my activities. Do what I want when I want.
But freedom doesn’t work like that.
We, humans, are free to be humans and to live within those constraints. We are never free to be a bird. And although I would love to be able to fly, knowing that my freedom is limited to my humanity helps guide and direct my choices. I no longer have to try to fly like a bird. Instead I can fly in a plane or with a parasail. Limiting my freedom to my humanity means I get to discover creative ways to overcome my limitations like using a plane to fly by embracing my humanly limitations.
Freedom doesn’t mean we can force people to act in the way we desire. If that was freedom we would be like Lord Business from The Lego Movie. He desires to make a perfect world and is willing to use the Kragle (Krazy Glue) to achieve his goal. But true freedom means we cannot predict how others will act nor can we force others to like us.
Through freedom we cannot bust down the doors to our dreams. Does this mean we shouldn’t dream big or work hard? No, it means that we are free to get up, try again, or even dare to dream a different dream. I have always dreamed big…I wanted to be the first female major league baseball player growing up. Never mind that I couldn’t hit a slow-pitch softball because when the ball was pitched I would close my eyes anticipating the sound the ball and the bat would make. My freedom could not make this dream a reality.
Freedom is messy in that way, but it is also wonderful. Freedom means we will fail, it means we must work hard, and it means we must understand our limitations. If the Wright Brothers didn’t understand our limitations they may never have made the first flight in a plane. Wishing to be something we are not is not freedom. Freedom is knowing who we are, accepting our limitations, creatively working with them, and learning from mistakes and apparent failure.
What do you think would change if we thought of freedom in this way?