Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Risk and Life

I found this interesting quote from Hegel on freedom:

"It is solely by risking life that freedom is obtained; ... the individual who has not staked his or her life may, no doubt, be recognized as a Person; but he or she has not attained the truth of this recognition as an independent self-counsciousness."

I'm not going to try and interpret Hegel (a risky business for me), but here is a thought:

To live a meaningful life you need to risk it for a cause. Certainly "meaningful" is up for grabs, but I want my life to count for something and to do so means that I am sacrificing certain paths in life for something that I think is better. When I say Yes to something there is a whole host of No's that are included, many of which might have been worth something.

We make many such Yes' everyday, and many Yes' come as default when we fail to make a decision. But there is that Big Yes that looms out there that we may or may not hit if only looking at the everyday decisions.

I believe Freedom is knowing what that Big Yes is. Here is a conversation starter for you, try it out on your friends: "What are you risking your life for?"

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