TWTS – Episode 43. – Freedom, Not Safety is What We Need
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When squeezed enough, everything explodes.
Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. The more forcefully something is contracted, controlled, and contained, the more forcefully it will soon become expanded, uncontrolled, and uncontained.
But if there is an outlet, even just a single way to move into a lower pressure area, then the violence can be avoided.
And the more outlets for free movement, and free expression, the less violence there will be.
This is true whether we are talking about balloons or humans, physics or sociology.
Yet this seems to be one of most ignored laws of nature when it comes to leaders and policy-makers in the world, at all levels, and in all fields.
When norms, religions, governments, families, schools, organizations, and ideologies attempt to repress, by trying to contract, control, and contain an individual’s innate need for free expression, something always breaks. And the typical “solution” to that breakage? Add even more forceful repression, contraction, control, containment! More punitive, threatening, harm-based laws! More insults! More alienation of those who are outside the norm! In general, more lack of freedom all around. Ouch.
But we understand, deep down, through both our instincts and our science, that the only cure for violence, on all levels — physical, emotional, intellectual, and philosophical — is more freedom to be ourselves, our weird, abnormal, eccentric, creative, exploratory, awesome selves. More outlets for individuals to express their unique passions. More flexibility. More openness. More space for all the diverse individuals to be themselves, whether that is LGBT, Muslim, Christian, agnostic, weird-looking, normal-looking, Republican, Democrat, Green, Libertarian, authoritarian, historian, singularitian, fat, skinny, blind, eagle-eyed, dark skinned, light skinned, female, male, mixed, genius, simple, New Aged, old aged, autistic, borderline, histrionic, hyperactive, shy, funny, dull, happy, sad, mad, mammalian, culicidian, ornithorhynchidian, Martian, or robotian. The universe makes all of us individuals to fill a niche, and as a society we can choose to try to block individuals from finding their niche, and suffer the backlash, or we can choose to help individuals find their niche, by giving them the freedom to fully, honestly, and openly express who they are and want to be.
The “safety” of forced contraction, control, and containment, which always eventually results in the serious danger of forced expansion, uncontrol, and uncontainment, is the opposite of what we need. What we truly need is freedom. Freedom to be human, or whatever else the universe has made us to be. Freedom to be and do whatever we feel most joyful, passionate, excited, and delighted about when it comes to what we want to explore and create in life.
So, I wonder, how can we turn the dialogue around to promoting freedom, rather than safety, flow, rather than boredom or overwhelm, in our world?
Links referenced in episode:
How to Raise an Awesome Kid TWTS podcast episode (on one of the Columbine High shooters)
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