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Celebrating Freedom on Passover

Posted by David A. Couper, MA on April 14, 2014 10:51 AM

passover_imageFor many years, I have been fortunate enough to share the first night of Passover with good friends who open their home, cook enough food for a small country, and celebrate freedom. That’s what Passover, when the Jewish people were freed by God from slavery, means to me.  

Over the years my friends have talked about freedom from Nazi Germany, freedom for women, and freedom for LGBT. It is always a celebration that I look forward to and enjoy the opening that freedom brings.  

But many people create their own prisons. They are free, but they are not free. They can't go on their dream trip because they don't have the money. They can't change jobs because they have great benefits and a pension to look forward to. They can't make new friends because everyone is too busy.  

All of these reasons are valid, but none of them are true. Maybe your dream trip is staying in five star hotels all over Europe. Okay, that may not be possible, but how about camping in Europe or even in the US overlooking the ocean? Could that be a dream trip which you could afford?  I understand that security is important to people and having a pension these days is a great and rare benefit, but if you are not happy in your job, is this really living life?  How about taking a baby step?  What about reading what your dream job is really all about or finding someone to have a conversation with about your idea?  What would it take to follow your dream career for one hour a week or a day at the weekends?  Could that lead to something even better than you have now?  

And if you are lonely and you want to make new friends, how can you change your view about that?  Is it really that everyone is too busy, or is it that you are too busy, or too comfortable in your routine, or too afraid to go out and do something different?  Maybe a first step is talking to someone you haven't ever talked to before in your office.  “Hello” would be a good start.  Or volunteering with people; not to make friends, but to be of service.  Or picking up the phone and calling someone you haven't seen for ever and taking a chance.  

When I volunteered at a women's prison recently in the Freedom To Choose Project, what I noticed most was that there were some inmates who, even though they might be there for life, had a mindset that they had freedom. They were learning from what they had done, trying to help others with their lives, and choosing to live rather than to give up.

Are you living in your own self-made prison or choosing a life of freedom?

Happy Passover.

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