December 8

  

Today's quotation:

The truly free person is the one who knows how to decline a dinner invitation without giving an excuse.

Jules Renard

Today's Meditation:

How difficult it can be to free ourselves from our commitment to social norms and rules.  Sometimes it seems that our lives are ruled by people outside of ourselves-- as soon as someone plans to have a party or a dinner, then all of a sudden our plans are made, too, even though we might have wanted to spend a quiet evening at home on that particular night.  And declining the invitation is difficult because we fear that we may offend the hosts.

How do we reach a point at which we take no actions that are based upon fear of how other people may feel?  It would be much easier, of course, if other people didn't get offended easily by something like a declined dinner invitation, but them taking offense is their reality and it doesn't have to be ours.  How do we reach a point at which we feel comfortable enough with ourselves that we make our own decisions about what we want to do based on what we know is best for us?

These aren't easy questions to answer.  But Jules' words are very important words to ponder if we value our freedoms as much as most of us seem to.  Not all dinner invitations are negative, but he's not talking about just those here-- he's talking about having the freedom and the strength to make decisions for ourselves and not finding it necessary to explain each decision that we make to others.  Given this criterion, I'm not quite sure just how free I am, but I know that if I weren't concerned about how the hosts would take it, I'd gladly decline if I didn't want to go.  Just how much does my concern for how others will act affect other areas of my life?

Questions to consider:

Is it easy for you to decline invitations without explanations?

Why is it so important that we offer explanations when we do decline invitations?

Is this a truly valid description of one aspect of "freedom"?

For further thought:

Freedom of will is the ability to do gladly that which I must do.

Carl Jung

more thoughts and ideas on freedom

   

   

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