The Greek philosopher Socrates uttered the words “The unexamined life is not worth living”. If that is true then the question today is ‘are we living examined lives and do we have the ability or the belief that we can actually examine our own lives?’ I believe we have the ability to take a look at our lives and observe ourselves from a distance. When we embark on this process of self-examination, I would say one question emerges as the defining question:
Do you want to be Comfortable or Free?
What then is comfortable and free in the context of examining our lives? This has different meanings for different people, and it is your choice entirely what comfortable is and what the meaning of free will be to you. In an endeavour to help us examine our lives, I will share my perspective on what comfortable and free mean to me.
COMFORTABLE – When I think of comfortable, I am reminded of the story of a man and his dog sitting on a park bench. The man is sitting quietly reading the newspaper, whilst his dog who is sitting beside him on the bench is yelping softly. A stranger passing by hears the dog yelping, stops and asked the man why his dog is yelping. The man informs the stranger that the dog is actually sitting on an exposed nail on the park bench. The stranger is puzzled by this and asks the man why the dog does not move? The man then says that the dog is probably not uncomfortable enough and therefore has no real reason to move. Is that not so true of our lives at times? Things may just not be uncomfortable enough to cause us to move and therefore we can assume that if we not moving, we must be comfortable.
FREE – When are we really free? What does free mean to us? What possibilities would being free allow us to be? Would we find our true identity and even become more enlightened? Einstein observed that if we continue to do the same things and expect different results, then we are insane!
What would allow us to be free? Many people may say when they are financially free they would be truly free, but would they be free or just free of debt? I think at that stage we might be free of worries, but in reality we would just be very comfortable. This raises the next question which is ‘are you really happy or just really comfortable?’
In my opinion, being free starts the moment you are able to think differently, looking for the opportunity to recognise the areas of your life that are comfortable. By recognising these areas we can start to ask questions like ‘why have we become so comfortable?’ and ‘why are we happy with this comfort zone?’ – don’t we believe that there is more to life that what we experience at the moment?
FREE is a position of power – not one of control, but rather the realisation that we have a choice to live an exceptional life.
What does being FREE mean to you? I would appreciate your feedback.