On arriving at the airport in Botswana, I was greeted with a billboard advertising Woolworths. The billboard had a caption, “Everybody is born free.”
The statement is open to various interpretations and I am sure that Woolworths had a particular slant that they wanted their target audience to lean towards. My interpretation is that we are all born free of any particular attitude or inclination towards life.
I have a number of questions that I would like to ask, answers to which can have a huge influence on the quality of life we eventually lead.
If we are all born free, what then happens to us? When do we then get caged? What is it that gets us caged and what does it do to the quality of our lives?
These are the questions that you need to ask yourself as you reflect upon your life once in a while.
We are all born with a lot of potential to achieve the extra-ordinary. We arrive on this earth with an open mind and with the same possibilities of achievement. We are all born without thoughts, beliefs and opinions.
As we grow older, we begin to acquire certain beliefs and perceptions about life. We tend to form opinions about the world. These opinions are derived from a plethora of sources.
The significant influencers of our lives are our parents, our friends, our teachers, our religion, the books we read, the people we associate with, the television programmes we watch and the professions we choose.
These are the things that take away our freedom. These are things that help shape our outlook on life. These are the things that cage us.
The things that influence us have a huge bearing on whether we go on to become successful in life or not. They determine whether we live a happy or miserable life.
The good news is that we can “uncage” ourselves, once we determine that we have lost the freedom that we were born with. It is possible to regain the freedom of our birth and go on to determine the life we live.
One way of getting “uncaged” and regain our freedom is to have what mindfulness practitioners call ‘the beginner’s mind’.
Jon Kabat-Zinn, in his book, Full Catastrophe Living says, “Too often we let our thinking and our beliefs about what we “know” prevent us from seeing things as they really are. We tend to take the ordinary for granted and fail to grasp the extraordinariness of the ordinary.”
The notion of the beginner’s mind is that we should be “willing to see everything as if for the first time”.
The beginner’s mind is a way of regaining our freedom. It is a way which we should adopt to remove the tint in our view of the world.
Our expectations, based on our past experiences, derived from our environment, are the primary cause of our loss of freedom. Our experiences taint the way we see things.
To regain our ability to be as free as we were born, at least when it comes to our perception of life we need to adopt a Beginner’s Mind.
We need to ask questions that will that will allow us to see things with a fresh set of eyes.
We need to do away with our pre-conceived notions of what particular situations should be like.
You need to adopt a clear and untainted mind, after all, we were all born free.
Facebook – Coach Davison ZW