The boy opened the cage in order to get back his golden ball. But, the price was high. He violated his parents dream and lost all that he had through pleasing. He was a prince. If he had followed the rules he would one day have been the King. Security, wealth, privilege and power were to be had simply by staying put, doing what he was told to do, by being good.
But, he made the other choice. He chose freedom instead. In that decision he gave up the easy road. He lost his wealth, family, friends, security and privilege. He now had nothing!
Or, perhaps that is not exactly so. He gave up the easy road to find his road. While it might have cost a great deal, in fact everything he had acquired, he had his freedom. Perhaps we should not underestimate the power of having one’s freedom!
It is easy for Americans to take their freedom for granted. We were born free. Our freedoms are guaranteed in our Constitution and defended by our government. But, even here, freedom is not free. Thousands of men and women have given their lives to gain and protect our freedom.
So, how free are you?
Notice where you speak your mind and where you don’t. Do you hold back on your candor to keep the peace or to secure your position at work or at home? Does it bother you to sacrifice your freedom?
Notice where you express your preference and where you don’t. Do you care where you go to dinner or what movie you see? Do you express your preferences or do you give in to the preferences of others because it is easier?
These are small expressions of freedom, but they are important. You simply cannot be your best and most powerful self when you are being what others want you to be. You are not thriving. You cannot reach your potential until you are your own person.
Freedom can be costly. Gaining it can be uncomfortable. It can rock the boat. It can create conflict. It may cost you some things you don’t want to lose. But, it is always worth fighting for.