Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Day 226: The Thrill of Freedom

Last month my mother came to visit as well as Gian’s parents who came to visit for a long weekend. While they were staying over they were sharing stories of us as small children. Once of these stories consisted of how both Gian and I – each in our own setup as little kids – would be the ones ‘destroying other childrens’ / siblings’ sand castles’.

As my mother was telling the story, I remembered how I experienced myself in those moments.
It was a really strange experience – this typical evil ‘destroying someone else’s sandcastle’. It starts with first seeing someone put all this effort, bucket by bucket, sand heap by sand heap – where every singular action eventually accumulates into this ‘great’ thing as a sand castle. And then for a moment just conceptualizing and playing with the idea of ‘I could just destroy all this’ and ‘I could just undo all of that in ONE single moment’. And that’s where this weird feeling starts creeping in. Because you are able to conceptualize this scenario, you are able to see that you can actually do this and that you could indeed in a single act, a single moment undo everything your brother/sister/friend has built. And inside yourself there’s this inherent ‘feeling’ that this path/scenario is not cool and that you shouldn’t do it. But just because you can feel that you shouldn’t do it – the possibility/ability of you going there and doing exactly that doesn’t cease to exist. So an interesting conflict/friction emerges as you can tell you should and of you going there and doing exactly that doesn’t cease to exist. So an interesting conflict/friction emerges as you can tell you should and yet you can. And this is actually quite confusing – because nothing is stopping you from doing something you know is inherently uncool. And then you start imagining destroying the sandcastle and then you move yourself to actually go there, and oh boy the moment you cross that line, that point of ‘I’m really doing this’ where you know you’re doing something you shouldn’t be doing (and not because someone else told you that it’s wrong , but just because you know you wouldn’t want this to be done unto you) – it creates such a rush of energy, such a thrill – because you’ve just done something which ‘shouldn’t be possible’, you know you crossed a boundary.

Then depending if there’s any adults around, you’d either get reprimanded or only have to deal with a crying sibling/friend, and within that you don’t really learn anything about what just happened and what you experienced.

Because this whole event, is a point of ‘freedom’. I had the freedom to destroy someone else’s sandcastle. And just because I could, I did.

So as a child you are faced with these situations where you can do all these things yet that doesn’t mean that you should to them. And there’s no-one around to explain to you how all of this works (cause your Parents are too busy protecting their own freedom to take advantage of you, so they’re not going to tell you to not indulge into freedom because they know that would just make them look like hypocrites). In the end – the only one that is able to stop you in a moment of ‘freedom’ is you. Freedom is really just a test of character. Freedom is where you are able to set your boundaries. Freedom is not about ‘what you can do’ but who you are and what principles you live by no matter ‘what freedom’ is existent.

And I mean, what are we seeing in the world today? We still have children who in the meantime have grown up to be adults, destroying other children/adults’ sandcastles/work/effort/livelihood. We live in a world where you are able to seize power and place others into submission, where you can place yourself in a position of superiority and exploit another. That freedom exists – but does that mean that you should do it just because you can?

We live in a world of absolute freedom, which really only means that the option, the possibility of abusing one another in the most extreme ways is existent. It’ the FreeDoom to Doom one another – something we’ve been doing quite successfully since the beginning of our existence. Maybe that is what the old Bible story is really telling us, the one about Adam and Eve and the Snake – maybe it’s just there to show us that we ‘just can’t help ourselves’ but making irrational, stupid decisions which are not in our best interest. And even though this story supposedly took place at the dawn of time – we still haven’t changed – we are still unable to live by simple guidelines and principles such as ‘love thy neighbor as thyself’, simply because we’re addicted to the thrill of freedom.
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