For To Us To Receive Freedom, We Must First Embrace The Risk
All of us want freedom. But, only a few of us are willing to accept the associated risk and responsibility that inherently comes with it.
Freedom allows us to do what we want when we want, and how we want (to the degree contained by our limitations). This concept is especially ingrained in Americans whose identity is built on life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
But, here is the reality. No one, even those we would consider the freest are completely free. All of us are constrained, and the extent of these constraints varies based on our context.
If I want to jump over my house, my physical limitations prevent this. If I want to travel to another part of the world and I don’t have the money to do it, I’m limited by finances. Getting older we lose freedom, physically, and mentally.
Point being, we are all contained and a spectrum of inherited, adopted, and subjected constraints dictate how free we are. As humanity has traversed through history, the general movement has been towards greater degrees of freedom, but it’ll never be unlimited. We’ll never be God.
So, the more freedom we have, the more opportunity we have to do what we want. But, there is an inherent responsibility to steward that freedom lest we lose the freedom. And this is the risk. The more freedom we have, the greater we risk losing something and something more. When we have nothing, we have nothing to lose.
How Removing The Safety Net Is Our Pathway To Success
In The Dark Knight Rise, Batman is broken and imprisoned by the villain (Bane). The prison is essentially a large hole in the ground with a view to the sky. Freedom is visible but impossible to access.
The prisoners can see the escape but have no way to get out, except a series of small platforms that go upward around the large round tunnel up. Along with these platforms is a safety rope. If someone attempting to climb slips, the rope prevents their fall (and their death).
After recovering from his injuries, Bruce Wayne (Batman) ties himself to the rope and attempts to escape unsuccessfully as the last platform (for exiting prison) is just too far to jump and land. Each time he jumps and falls, the rope catches him, preventing an untimely (and anti-climactic) death.
But, he's heard a legend of someone escaping before. How did they do it, how did they get out of this prison? How did they gain their freedom?
She jumped without the rope (safety cord).
When success means either freedom or death, the jumper must give everything and hold nothing back. This mentality and this tension were required for Bruce Wayne to escape. And, if you've seen the film, you know he successfully lands on the platform after making the jump untethered.
Completely unable to succeed in the jump with the safety of the rope, jumping without was the riskiest action he could take. His life was at stake.
Batman had a choice. Imprisonment or freedom with the chasm of risk in between.
And you have that choice. To jump that project, that business, or that relationship.
Will you choose to stay in your comfort and safety zone or will you decide the freedom is worth the risk?