Over the last weekend we had some close friends from out of town staying with us. As a family we’ve always been bordering on addiction to gregariousness. Conversations from the utterly inane to the intensely intellectual find easy acceptance in our friend circles. So during the near-ritualistic quaffing of a delicious Speyside single malt whiskey our talk veered towards impossible dreams.
While most impossible dreams featured private islands, limitless books and single malts and even socialistic endeavours, mine was one of ‘absolute freedom’. For the longest time I have been convinced that human beings have deceived themselves about the concept of freedom. Freedom as we define it comes with a plethora of terms and conditions. I like to call it ‘accountable freedom’. Accountable freedom begins at a very early age through social conditioning; and by the time we’re adults it is a way of life for most. Those who read between the lines and express their desire for absolute freedom get branded as rebels or misfits or even freaks.
Think about it for 60 introspecting seconds. When was the last time you did or thought something for which you were not accountable to anyone, including your own conscience (which more often than not is a well programmed, socially conditioned machine)? The Government, school teachers, college professors, office colleagues, parents, relatives, friends, spouse(s) and even your beautiful children…everyone expects you to be accountable. You relent, partake and in fact advocate the system of accountable freedom.
While absolute freedom is an impossible dream for most, there are ways to get close to that ideal Neverland. For starters, make peace with your past. Try to actively face everything you fear or abhor, with a view to gain resolution or closure. Recall how Po faces his ultimate moment of truth and finds inner peace while encountering Shen, the peacock, in DreamWorks’ 2011 animated feature Kung Fu Panda 2.
In a world dominated by emotional, preconceived notions over a logic-based approach, external absolute freedom is a myth. But your internal journey can craft its own destiny. A path less travelled that shapes your willpower, and puts you on the road to absolute freedom. As a wise person once said, “You don’t make your choices. Your choices make you.”