“Everyone talks about freedom. All around the world different people, different races, different countries are fighting for freedom. But what is freedom?
“In America we speak of living in a free country. But are we really free? Are we free to be who we really are?
“The answer is no, we are not free. True freedom has to do with the human spirit — it is the freedom to be who we really are.
“Who stops us from being free? We blame the government, we blame the weather, we blame our parents, we blame religion, we blame God. Who really stops us from being free?
“We stop ourselves.
“What does it really mean to be free?
“Sometimes we get married and we say that we lose our freedom, then we get divorced and we are still not free. What stops us? Why can’t we be ourselves?
“We have memories of long ago, when we used to be free and we loved being free, but we have forgotten what freedom really means.
“If we see a child who is two or three, perhaps four years old, we find a free human.
“Why is this human free? Because this human does whatever he or she wants to do. The human is completely wild. Just like a flower, a tree, or an animal that has not been domesticated — wild!
“And if we observe humans who are two years old, we find that most of the time these humans have a big smile on their face and they’re having fun. They are exploring the world. They are not afraid to play. They are afraid when they are hurt, when they are hungry, when some of their needs are not met, but they don’t worry about the past, don’t care about the future, and only live in the present moment.
“Very young children are not afraid to express what they feel. They are so loving that if they perceive love, they melt into love. They are not afraid to love at all. That is the description of a normal human being. As children we are not afraid of the future or ashamed of the past.
“Our normal human tendency is to enjoy life, to play, to explore, to be happy, and to love.
~ Don Miguel Ruiz from The Four Agreements
We often find that our most cherished memories are from times when we felt this joyous connection with life. What are some of your most cherished memories?