November 19

The only person who is really
free is the one who can turn
down an invitation to dinner
without giving an excuse.

Jules Renard


Today's Meditation:

If we truly wish to be free people, then we definitely have to let go of our needs to meet other people's expectations.  We can't call ourselves free, yet still be chained by our need to meet with the approval of others.  We must know that our actions are just and moral and ethical and necessary, and if we know that, then we never have to give an excuse for anything that we do, simply to make someone else feel better or think differently about who and what we are.

I have to say that these days, if someone were to invite me to dinner on a Friday night, there's a very good chance that I'd say no.  My weeks are extremely busy, and they're busy with dealing with high school students for more than seven hours a day.  I love doing it, but it's exhausting.  The question is, though, can I turn them down with a simple "No, thank you," without telling them why?  Can I simply state my preference for not going without giving an excuse for that preference?

There's a part of me that says that it's more courteous to give that explanation, that I'd be sparing their feelings if I were to do so.  There's another part of me, though, that agrees with Jules and says that when I reach a point of true freedom, I'm not going to base what I do and say on how I think others will react.  Their reactions, after all, are about them, not about me, and a simple "No, thank you" should suffice.  Shouldn't it?

I may never become "the only person who is really free."  But I most certainly can aspire to become that person, and the closer I get to being truly free, the more positive my life will become.

Questions to consider:

Why do we so often feel a need to explain our decisions to others?

What kinds of things can we do to grow more free as time moves on?

Do you agree with Jules' statement?  Does it make sense?

For further thought:

Who stops us from being free?  We blame the
government, we blame the weather, we blame
our parents, we blame religion, we blame God.  Who
really stops us from being free?  We stop ourselves.

Don Miguel Ruiz

More on freedom.


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