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Not even a century ago, the concept of freedom was extremely limited. Lack of communication and news meant that most of us were aloof and content in our lives, which consisted of our parents, relatives and neighbours, in the immediate vicinity. The figures of authority were followed religiously, with no one even daring to question them.
The concept of self-actualization or listening to oneself for an attempt to find out more about the world and life was not encouraged.
Modern life has provided us with a level of freedom that few of us know how to handle. Most of us are going through life doing whatever we want to do, and yet, paradoxically, we are not experiencing what real freedom is.
It’s the mentality of our early years, the education thrust upon us, the belief patterns, rules and regulations that make us fearful of even thinking of changing anything about our lives.
We find out that the people we trusted were not trustworthy, the religion, belief pattern, family value or company policy that we blindly followed, was not worth it.
When we begin to question reality and true happiness, when the uncertain moments overwhelm us, then we are shocked to see that no one really cares or knows.
People don’t really care what we are up to and are too tied up with their own struggles to bother about our living condition and state of mind.
We think we are indispensable, and people would miss us if we go away (like in our office), but we are forgotten in a week.
When we realize that no one is there for us, and we are ourselves responsible for our lives, and the future, we don’t have anyone to blame. We cannot say our parents made us like this, or give the excuse of our inactivity to some circumstance or situation because we are free.
When we experience true freedom, we realize it comes with a responsibility towards ourselves and when we work upon ourselves, we make an impact in the world.
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Straightforward people are easy to be around with because we know exactly what the issues are from the start. There is no need to guess or infer or translate.
If they don&...
Complicated people are very unsure about the legitimacy of their own desires, making them unable to let the world know what they really want and feel.
They may initially appear to agree with everything you're saying, but later on, their reservations will become known. They will say they want to join you for dinner but will inwardly ache for an early night. They will give the impression of being happy while crying inside. They will say sorry when they want you to apologize.
The root cause of confusing complexity may come from fear of how an audience might respond if our real intentions are known.
The origins may have started in childhood. A child becomes complicated when they are given the impression that there is no room for their honesty. A child may have received irritation or open anger for their honesty.
Working, in broad terms has always been a curse, especially in ancient times for a majority of people. Work is to be done for providing basic food and shelter, and in most cases, it does not provid...
Work is the effort we make to get what nature did not provide us automatically, or what is not in abundance. We need food, water, shelter, clothes, and basic necessities that make our lives easier. We invent tools to help ourselves where nature didn’t help us.
Example: We couldn’t carry too much water in our cupped hands, so we worked and made a bucket to carry it.
Apart from simple mechanical objects that define what tools are, like a hammer or a bucket, tools can also have broader meanings like:
Some of our most despondent moods are caused by failures of the imagination. Imagination here is the power to envision alternatives. When we're sad, we can't imagine fi...
As grown-ups, we have choices. We are not small children where we have to depend on our parents for everything.
We could work as a bus conductor or retrain as a psychotherapist. We could volunteer in an emergency shelter. We can throw ourselves into learning a new language or take a university degree. We can look up old and trusted friends or make new friends.
To increase our chances of fulfillment, we need to feed our imagination and provide them with endless examples of alternative narratives, so they are more able to come up with plan Bs. We should practice to picture better ways to be.
As part of creative classes, adolescents should be asked to produce narratives like: If I lost everything and had to start up again, I will... They should be asked to make a list of 20 things that currently make life meaningful, then have to cross them all off and find ten more.