2011 A Year of Yes
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El Foro Landmark
Freedom: a matter of choosing, a place to stand
We commonly think of freedom as the ability to define options and choose among them. The context or framework inside which we talk about freedom is freedom “from,” freedom “of,” freedom “to.” But in the possibility of being human, there is a freedom that is distinct from the freedoms “from,” “of,” and “to.” The word freedom carries choice. Freedom is a matter of choosing. While freedom can be defined, it can’t be captured or corralled by a definition—it leaks out when we try to define it. Freedom is closer to being than it is to some thing. It’s kind of a being phenomenon.
In our commitments—the places we’ve chosen to find ourselves in life—lies the freedom we have. When we commit ourselves to our partners, families, projects, service, those commitments become a freedom—we recognize our ultimate choice and responsibility. Freedom is a product of a place to stand. What we say to ourselves and about ourselves shapes our possibilities for being. Taking a stand requires an act of courage, and a willingness to be shaped and moved by our commitments—that’s where freedom arises. When we take a stand we don’t have to take the stand out into the world of black and white, yes or no, accomplished or did not accomplish. That isn’t where the courage is. The courage is where the stand meets the commitment.
Landmark Forum leader
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