Wednesday, November 14, 2012

We are the Prisoners & We are the Guards

I am reading a book "What I wish I knew When I Was 20 - by Tina Seelig". In this wonderful book, the author mentions about one of her favorite dialogue from the movie "My Dinner with Andre", which says,  New Yorkers "are both the guards & prisoners & as a result they no longer have ..... the capacity to leave the prison they have made, or even see it as a prison".

This line is so very powerful, yet so simple, it is so deep, yet it is just tugged away somewhere & we all tend to miss this very essence from our consciousness, from our daily life each & every moment.
Isn't it so true that we all are the Prisoners & we are the Guards, for ourselves.

 The extrapolation of this statement can be made in all dimensions, in all aspects of our life. 

We do make rules, assumptions, expectations, believe, value systems & then unknowingly become prisoner within this boundary & guard ourselves to make sure we stay within this invisible walls.  

If we step out of the philosophical metaphor & see ourselves in the realm of the real world & society, it is the same story, isn't it? 

We graduate in a particular field of study, we pursue a chosen career & do not challenge ourselves to see the endless possibilities of breaking the stereotype, we define success in terms of title, money, car, house, exotic vacations & sleep walk through our life as prisoners within this invisible framework of rules, we created unknowingly or unknowingly for ourselves.

In history & in our contemporary life, there have been many men & women, who perceived life, society & themselves with a very unique lens of their own. They were willing to identify & challenge assumptions, & to break free of the expectations that they themselves & others had projected on them. They were not afraid of getting out of their comfort zone, they had a healthy disregard for the impossible & to turn well-worn ideas on their heads.

Of course, leaving the well-worn path & choosing to walk against the current is never easy, but these unique men & women have left behind a legacy & tale of inspiration for all of us to ask this question to ourselves - "Are we the Prisoners & are we the Guards for ourselves?".

Knowing that you can question the rules is terrifically empowering. The sole rule is that you are limited only by your energy & imagination. - Tina Seelig.

Acknowledgement: The photo, is taken from Carl Pendle's beautiful blogpost 'Bird Tied Up'.