Not Free

Get out of Jail Free Card

During the Cold War there was a list of countries and their level of freedom. It still exists but we pay less attention to it.  I recall three categories — very free, free, not free — and I remember ratings were based on politics, economics, and so on.

So too in man.

We are very freefree, and not free based on life areas — jobs … family … money. As with the world list much of this depends on definitions: what exactly is it to be free, anyway? I can be free in one area (family, say) but not in another (money). What’s weighted, no pun intended, more important than other areas, as well?

Most people seem to think of freedom as the ability — the right — to do what we want. It doesn’t matter what it is, as long as we can do it. That’s not freedom, but license. Liberty, freedom, is being able to do what can and should be done*.

The Fat Guy is not physically free. He isn’t free to run a mile, or bear heavy burdens — let alone carry an injured child to a hospital. He can still do the what by knowing the why but he won’t be able to do it for very long. He isn’t free to do the thousand and three things an ordinary thin man can. He is extraordinary in all the unwelcome ways.

This slavery is largely self-imposed; I grant that. I know that better than you. But that’s a different question — an important one, and one to be discussed, but a different one. Right now all I want to say is, the Fat Guy is not free.

 

*Discipline, of which more another day, is an element of liberty, making it real in specific cases: doing the right thing in the best time, place, and way.

Recent

Sadie! Sadie!

Hadda dream that Zadie Smith asked me to babysit two kittens. She and her husband, an older Jewish man, had somewhere to go. He was

Read More »

Tolkien’s Errantry

‘Errantry’ JRR Tolkien   Commercially found in Adventures of Tom Bombadil Image: detail, Pauline Baynes’ illustration, for above [Where did JKR hear the buzz of Dumbledore …

Read More »

No It Won’t

I don’t think that quotation means what we think it means. Beauty will not save the world and anyway Dostoevsky didn’t say it and anyways

Read More »

Take Up Do

In my mid-20s — half an age (mine) and still nearly nil on maturity ago — I noticed a thing that at the time was

Read More »

Random

Tesla Girl

Someone the other day called Elon Musk both an “inventor” and “a badass” but he is neither. Let me say flat-out, upfront, and clearly it’s good that

Read More »

Steps

Adore and obey, don’t fulminate and flee Be a man not a guy A producer not a consumer Solution not problem (or be quiet) (which doesn’t

Read More »

Shock And Ow

I’ve had many exchanges over the years where my statement about something was taken as surprise at the event rather than what it was —

Read More »

Related