Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Chasing Freedom



The other night, I saw a program on TV that ran a small spotlight on porters in India. Porters are basically people who carry heavy loads of items from one place to another in exchange for pay. The show explained that many of these porters came from small villages to work in the city, where they would save up a few cents to a dollar for carrying unbelievably heavy cargo on their backs for miles.

On the show, the cameras followed one of these porters back to his hometown, which he was only able to go back and visit once every few months. He brought gifts and clothes for his son and daughter, and passed all of his hard-earned income, a few hundred dollars, to his wife. The delighted smiles on their faces showed how much they had missed him, and how happy they were to be reunited.

At the end of this segment, the porter said that no matter how hard the work was, he could do it for his wife and children, because he was the father. And regarding his hopes for the future, he replied that he wanted his children to be able to say in the future, that the line of porters had ended with him as the last one.

***

Thanks to the hard work and support of my parents, I had the privilege to get an education, the time to explore my interests and dreams, the ability to devote energy to my own thoughts and creativity, and the freedom to make choices for myself and my future.
It's so easy to take all that for granted. But it's actually a huge gift. The tremendous scale of that gift hit me suddenly, for an instant, as I watched the story of the porter.

There are so many possibilities out there. And to have the freedom to be able to chase them down, create them, to think and know and feel.
I hope I can take advantage of every moment, every day of this gift of freedom.