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On The Freedom To Be Nothing...


I've come to believe that one of life's great freedoms...is the freedom to be nothing. Yep, you probably ought to read that again. I'm serious. It's counter to everything society and culture teaches, as well as everything we believe makes us important. But it's actually a profound truth...an epiphany of the soul...and a deep, peaceful, restful place that most never discover.

In our culture, the LAST thing we value is obscurity. Silence. Know anyone who covets anonymity? On the contrary, the craving to be known, respected, admired and consulted is very deep. It's also very unhealthy. I think of it as living a life bordered on the north, south, east and west...by ourselves. Not much beauty in that at all.

There's a better way. It's the freedom to just be real, content in our own skin, with nothing to prove. Can you remember the last time you felt as though you had nothing to prove...and only One to please?

Finding the freedom to just be ourselves, without pandering to the "us" others demand, is a wonderful and worthwhile journey. It excuses us from doing our best to appear self-confident. It delivers us from the nagging "need" to have an opinion on everything. It exposes the fallacy of believing that the whole world will be a much better place when everyone is just like US...when they embrace our informative viewpoints and join us on our regular pilgrimage to the altar of self-idolatry. What pushes us toward that Mecca? Only one thing: an unrelenting desire to impress.

The longer I live, the more I value the treasure of being unknown, except by people I deeply love. The antithesis, of course, would be celebrity--the craving of flashing cameras and the adulation of people who, in reality don't really know us at all. Could anything be worse than being loved at a distance by people we don't even know?

I'm casting my ballot for "average," or less. For the wonderful right, privilege, and choice, to be anonymous...to travel as often as possible to the land of obscurity; a wonderful, spacious place frequented by only a few. For me, it's better than the beach. Better than a spirited shopping excursion. Better than a shiny new car, a fat 401k, or the best lawn in the neighborhood. In fact, it's better than a million other things too. Seriously.

The person who understands this oft-misunderstood freedom of which I speak--the freedom to be nothing--or at best, average...will discover a splendid treasure. Indeed, it's one of the great blessings of a quality life. May I invite you to join me in the quest?

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Lexington, Kentucky
(Opinions expressed here are solely my own and do not reflect the views or opinions of my employer.)

©2019 by Gary is Thinking.