Have You Gotten Used to Giving Up?
When my daughter Sophie was six, I fulfilled a long-held dream of mine: I went to see the famously beautiful Isle of Skye in Scotland. We stayed in an old hunting lodge in a tiny village with too many syllables to re-type here. At the edge of the gorgeous grounds was a pig pen and in it, one huge pink sow. Sophie was thrilled to watch this pig, which weighed much more than she did then. I felt nervous because the pig was restrained by only one strong wire around the perimeter of its pen.
I asked the farmhand why the pig didn’t just wander out – or worse, trample my child in a sudden dash for freedom. He laughed and in his thick Scots brogue he said the pig had been there its whole life, it was used to the confines and it would never venture out. “Tis useta thar. Enna gain nowwer.” Not being a farm person, I took his word for it but drew the line at Sophie feeding it like an animal in a petting zoo.
I’ve never forgotten that pig.
When I find myself doing the same things over and over, or when I notice things I believe about life that are keeping me from living a life of freedom, courage, success, happiness or adventure, I think about that pig. The pig had long since given up on freedom. These were the confines of its world until it was made into bacon and ham. It didn’t even know its destiny would only be death, death after a life barely lived.
Lots of bad things happen in people’s lives. We create rules (fences) that tell us “This is as far as I can go in this direction” or “This is just how life is.” We accept the limits of our vision for the limits of the world.
Let’s not be like that pig! Let’s test the boundaries, crawl under, leap over, steal the farmhand’s wire cutters and make a break for it! Just because bad things happened, it doesn’t mean they’ll happen again. Live adventurously!
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