FREE YOUR MIND(2): Why Freedom Beats Security

A ship in port is safe; but that is not what ships are built for.

Grace Hopper, US Navy Admiral and computer pioneer

It’s great to feel safe. Security is the feeling that all your basic needs will be provided for. On the surface there’s nothing wrong with that. The problem starts when people tell you why they play it safe in the first place. In most cases the reason is fear. Take insurance for instance. It is fear that scares people into buying all kinds of insurance nobody ever needs. It is also fear that makes us cling to our dreary jobs although we could aspire to a much more rewarding work. So whenever we opt for security, we make a negative decision fuelled by negative feelings. Yet, there is another problem about choosing safety. It cements the status quo. You’re getting stuck where you currently are. Security does not encourage us to get more out of life. It actually does the very opposite. Any changes you desire are getting out of reach. Your dreams and visions end up deferred. Unlike security, freedom does not defer dreams and visions. It actually carries you closer to them. Why is that? Well, freedom gives you the opportunity to take risks. And risk again means opportunity. Whenever we take risk out of life, we take opportunity out of life. People who give in notice to seek a more fulfilling career are powered by faith. People who move to a distant city to live with their partner are powered by love. People who seek a better life abroad are powered by hope. So unlike security, freedom is not about fear but positive feelings. Faith, love and hope make you thrive. Even if something goes wrong, you still prevail because you’ve made a positive decision in life. I’m not saying reject security one hundred percent. We all need security, of course. Just try looking at it in a different way. Most people define security externally. Their external wealth gives them some sense of safety. They would hardly break out. For instance they wouldn’t go on an extended trip even if they had the resources. Instead, their belongings paralyze them from taking action. Lovers of freedom don’t dislike security. They actually enjoy it but they define security internally. Security is about believing in ourselves — in our ability to think, decide and to take action. It is about being self-reliant. Given this mindset we could end up homeless and still feel secure. Why? Our homelessness is only a temporary setback. It’s not a direct threat to our security. So even when we find ourselves in an unstable situation, remember that external circumstances never threaten our existence. Our security is guaranteed internally, whatever happens in life.

© Patrick Schneider