This morning, I sat and just stared at my cat as he lay there sleeping after a hardy meal. I started to imagine what his life is like, how does he see the world? I know he’s a very independent being who likes his own way and isn’t afraid to show his disapproval of anything he dislikes, but he’s also very loving when he wants to be. He’s fed, watered, has a roof over his head and he comes and goes as he pleases, in fact, he’s very similar to my son. As life goes he’s got it pretty easy – the cat that is, not my son. No bills to pay, no responsibilities, and he gets to bring home birds whenever he wants. In all seriousness, I started to wonder if I wanted to live his life. Not that I want to bring birds home, no, no, I’m a happily taken thank you. What I mean is the freedom of living. It’s a question that really made me think. Yes, to live a life of total freedom sounds amazing, but let’s really think about it. Taking no responsibility for anything can have damaging effects on our psyche, it can take away our choices, our chance to learn, even our ability to love. Responsibility is what separates us from animals; as humans we have the responsibility to not only look after ourselves but each other. I know my cat doesn’t care about me, all he cares about is me feeding him. I know he visits other homes around me also to be fed, he has other options and I am under no illusion that he is affectionate with others – not just with me – and I’m ok with that because that’s the freedom of being a cat and that’s what he is: a cat. Who am I to judge? I wonder, is there a false illusion of freedom and what it can bring in the world? Has it lost its meaning? Freedom of living a free life shouldn’t be about freedom to do what we want, it should be about freedom of the soul. The only true way of being free is from within; when we find inner freedom and peace, everything else kind of falls into place – our appreciation of life, our ability to love and a belief in ourselves. I don’t think we as humans are ready for the kind of freedom that my cat has, not until we learn to appreciate the freedoms we already hold within us. Freedom is supposed to be about feeling free, and as humans we can’t agree to disagree on anything, we have to prove we are right about everything. We are sometimes more animal than animals, and maybe we as humans are not the species who have evolved, maybe it’s my cat and his fellow animals. Maybe they have evolved to the point of inner and outer freedom, maybe my cat does take responsibility; who am I to say who’s responsible and who’s not? Maybe, just maybe, we are the ones who are the primitive species in this universe and if so, its time we stared thinking instead of just acting.Not one of my usual blogs I’ll admit, but I thought it was one I had to write. When we are looking for answers we tend to look outwards for the questions, when we should be looking within. I truly believe that happiness comes from within and when we become comfortable with ourselves and let go of our insecurities and fears, that’s when we become totally free. Freedom isn’t about doing as we please; freedom is about having the ability to dream and then have the belief to live those dreams.
Geraint Rhys Benney