On Growth, Relationships, Responsibilities and Freedom.

I. Humility

As children, we see our parents as omniscient semi-Gods with superhuman powers. Sometimes however, a crack appears in the Matrix and their naked nature is exposed. Rather luckily, we children have not yet developed the eyes to recognise it for what it is.

With time, as we learn more about the world, we experience a gradual shift in perspective. We look at our parents from a different vantage point and they appear more Human-like, with all their moral, intellectual and physical flaws. In a similar fashion, I am constantly being humbled every time I am confronted with my own shortcomings and I would be dishonest and in denial, at least to myself, not to accept my modest status in this world.

II. The fulfillment of the Self

In relationships, we start as jealous and inseparable partners. Think of lovers, hand in hand, eyes in eyes, strolling in the park, or the child who can only find comfort in his mother’s arms.

Gradually, we naturally distance ourselves from each other, physically and emotionally. This must not necessarily always mean growing apart, but rather giving each other the space needed to spread their petals and blossom, allowing each other the chance to enjoy the promise of fulfillment that truly being oneself brings, however one might turn up. Here, acceptance, empathy and tolerance are required. 

Relationships can act as a mirror to our Selves. We unconsciously chose our partners with the aim to reveal to ourselves our true character and values. Understand and accept this, then categorically stop trying to change others but yourself, lest you miss an opportunity for self-knowledge.

III. No free lunch

As a young adult, I was very vocal and adamant about “my rights” and “my freedom” but at the same time extremely ignorant about my duties. The bitter taste of unintended consequences of many of my careless and senseless acts, combined with more professional and familial responsibilities have completely swayed my views.

I know now for fact that freedom and consequences are two sides of the same coin. I have the freedom not to pay for a house insurance but if my house happens to burn, I will have to accept the consequence of homelessness and not expect from anyone else that they open their house to me. Freedom and responsibilities go hand in hand. You cannot have the former without the latter. 

Embracing our responsibilities helps us to discover the empowering promise of freedom and happiness as an individual.  The realisation that our Freedom and happiness are in our hands liberates us from having to conform, to please or appease. It allows us to meet our lives on our own terms, navigate through its successes and failures (!), and finally find out who we truly are.

The next time a politician promises you “free” education, “free” health care etc. recognise it for what it is, the devil’s bargain with, as inevitable consequence, the loss of your freedom (and eventually your soul!)

Do not trade your freedom for "free" stuff.

There is no such a thing as a free lunch. 

Return value for value. 

Pay your own bills.

As a responsible, and free, grown-up.