The Last Freedom

In Man’s Search for Meaning”, Victor Frankl, a holocaust survivor, states, “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

In many ways we have lost our view of what makes life simple and enjoyable, what we’re doing here together. Think of the labor-saving devices that have come along to make food, shelter, and warmth easier and quicker to get than ever before. Yet look at the pace many are living today. Where is the time that has been freed up?  There seems to be less time for personal enjoyment, relaxation, enjoying being alive.

We’re hyped into thinking that the fun is “out there”. The fun is here, and if our emotional states don’t agree with what we want, we medicate ourselves and then philosophize ourselves out of them. When we decide to live more simply, we find that happiness and fulfillment are not “out there”. This is it, and it’s pretty wonderful if we take the time to enjoy it.

That we continue to have this last freedom, the power of choice, however irresponsible we are, implies a love huge enough to be eternal. The love that gives us free choice is greater than the love that expects only obedience.

When we use kindness as a meter for our choices, we’re secure in the knowledge that the warmth of our hearts will bring life to flower. We’ll see flowers where others see only weeds.


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