Ripples #1101: Freedom’s Opportunities

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Ripples #1101: Freedom’s Opportunities
June 29, 2020

May we think of freedom not as the right to do as we please, but as the opportunity to do what is right.
-Peter Marshall, shared by Laura in Charleston, IL

When my grandfather talked about freedom, his attitude was really interesting. His view was that you had obligations or you had responsibilities, and when you fulfilled those obligations or responsibilities, that then gave you the liberty to do other things.
-Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, shared by Paul in Orville, OH

As those of us here in the U.S. prepare to celebrate Independence Day just a few days after this year’s Juneteenth celebrations received renewed attention and interest, I thought this week might be a good time to ponder freedom and its relationship to responsibility.

I can recall so many times when I felt weighed down by the “restrictions of childhood”–being stuck with school and homework and chores and vegetables and bedtimes. I imagined adulthood as this massive experience of freedom since I would be the one making all these decisions about eating and playing and sleeping and such. I suspect I’m not the only grown up who now looks back on childhood with a different perspective, recognizing that adulthood comes with quite a few responsibilities that frequently get in the way of the freedoms we were so excited about as kids.

At some point, I realized it can be helpful to reframe some of our responsibilities as freedoms in disguise. For example, in our household we have a “Filter Check Day” at the end of each quarter, where we check all the filters in our home (air conditioner, vacuum cleaner, shopvac, dishwasher, dehumidifier, refrigerator, stove vent, clothes dryer…did I get them all, sweetie?). It is a chore, for sure. But with a bit of reframing, I can see that making sure all these filters are clean helps ensure I get to enjoy lots of free time in a comfortable home. And it also frees up time/money that won’t need to be spent on repairs required by clogged filters. Oh, and Filter Check Day here at Marklemann Manor also happens to be “Jam out to 1980s Dance Music” Day, so that is pretty freeing as well.

Can you think of a chore or other requirement that currently seems like the opposite of freedom to you? Perhaps you can dig a little deeper, look behind the mask of obligation and recognize an opportunity to help you celebrate freedom. It will likely take a little practice and a little reframing, but it may just help you enjoy Freedom’s Opportunities more than you ever have before. Try it and see!

Paul… Read More!

Ripples #945: Ultimate Freedom!

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Ripples #945: Ultimate Freedom!
July 3, 2017

Our ultimate freedom is the right and power to decide how anybody or anything outside ourselves will affect us. -Stephen Covey, shared by Brittany in Florida

The freedom we are looking for is the freedom to be ourselves, to express ourselves. But if we look at our lives we will see that most of the time we do things just to please others … The worst part is that most of us are not even aware that we are not free.
-Don Miguel Ruiz, shared by George in Queens, NY

I often play around with the theme of FREEDOM around this time of year since we celebrate USA’s Independence Day on July 4. One of the key components of freedom is about having choices, and I invite you to find a few moments between sparklers and fireworks to think about all the choices you have in a typical day.

Even though there are many things we DON’T get to choose, and even though our lives are far from perfect, you might be surprised just how many times in a day you have multiple options that you’re choosing from: options about which foods you’ll eat at a given meal, what clothes to wear today, what leisure activities you can choose from during your down time. It is also true that many of our “need to get done” tasks have options about HOW or WHEN we accomplish them. Even when something unpleasant happens that is completely beyond our control, there are usually still options about how we are going to respond.

It’s worth keeping in mind that lots of people don’t have access to the same sets of choices and options that we tend to take for granted. So make an extra effort this week to celebrate the ULTIMATE FREEDOMS that you have in your life, and maybe see if there is something you can do to enlarge the freedom of others who don’t have similar access.


The Ripples Guy… Read More!

Ripples #736: Freedom’s Responsibility.

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Ripples #736: Freedom’s Responsibility.
For our tribe of busy people who share encouragement and gratitude.
1 July 2013

Responsibility is the price of freedom.
-Elbert Hubbard

For to be free
is not merely to cast off one’s chains,
but to live in a way
that respects and enhances
the freedom of others.
-Nelson Mandela

This week we in the USA celebrate our country’s Independence Day (and Happy Canada Day to our friends to the north!). How about we ALL spend a few moments savoring the RIGHTS granted to us through our civic/cultural freedoms? This week’s quotes remind us to also ponder the RESPONSIBILITIES that come along with freedom. Whether these gifts were handed to us or earned, I believe that the whole world improves when we each take on a piece of the responsibility to help those who have less than us. Think about it…and if you can find a way to ACT that will enhance the freedom of others this week, I think you’ll enjoy your own freedom even more.

Peace to you…and Freedom, too!
The Ripples Guy… Read More!

Ripples #684: Giving to Get!

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Ripples #684: Giving to Get!
For our tribe of 31,161 busy people who share encouragement and gratitude.

The function of freedom is to free somebody else.
-Maya Angelou, submitted by Kalia in Sebastopol, CA

There is a wonderful, mythical law of nature
that the three things we crave most in life
happiness, freedom, and peace of mind
are always attained by giving them to someone else.
-Peyton C. March, submitted by Karissa in Sheboygan, WI

Many of us recognize the wisdom of “giving to get” even if we don’t always remember to act on it. As those of us here in the USA prepare to celebrate our Independence Day, I invite all of our ripplers to remember that freedom isn’t free. Many people made significant contributions and sacrifices so that we might live with many possibilities to choose from.

A good way to honor our own freedom is to spend some time and energy helping others expand *their* possibilities. Keep your eyes out this week for an opportunity to spend a few minutes helping a friend or stranger in need. Your patience and kindness will not only help them; you’ll likely notice how much more you recognize and savor your *own* freedom!

Paul… Read More!

Ripples #632: Being Free!

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Ripples #632: Being Free!
For our tribe of 27,890 busy people who share encouragement and gratitude.
July 4, 2011

Freedom is the fundamental condition for any growth.
-Erich Fromm

The freedom from something is not true freedom.
The freedom to do anything you want to do
is also not the freedom I am talking about.
My vision of freedom is to be yourself.

We are celebrating Independence Day here in the USA. I hope you can
experience freedom today: consider what it might feel like to enlarge your
independence by expanding awareness of the choices and options which are
beacons of freedom.

Or would you like to experience more freedom? Maybe you could let a bottle
rocket launch a lingering frustration into the heavens, or allow a sparkler
to shine light on a past fear that doesn’t serve you well.

Be safe, be happy, be free!

Paul… Read More!

Ripples v9.27: Free (not Free!)

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Ripples v9.27: Free (not Free!)
7/2/07: a free weekly splash from Paul & The Ripples Project

____________________PEBBLE ____________________

To be truly free, you must first be disciplined.
-source unknown, submitted by Jules G., Eau Claire WI

____________________BOULDER ____________________

Freedom is not merely
the opportunity to do as one pleases;
neither is it merely
the opportunity to choose between set alternatives.
Freedom is, first of all,
the chance to formulate the available choices,
to argue over them–and then,
the opportunity to choose.
-C. Wright Mills

____________________PONDER ____________________

As those of us here in the U.S prepare to celebrate our Independence Day, I want to remind us all that the word FREE has two different connotations. We sometimes use FREE to mean “no cost” and other times it refers to the concept described above: the opportunity to create and make choices. I am sure I am not the only one who worries that we tend to take our FREEdoms for granted, and we sometimes slip into thinking that they should not cost anything (cost = money, time, effort, etc.). Free isn’t Free!

In between the picnics and the sparklers and the fireworks, I dare you to spend a few minutes asking your companions what being FREE means to them. What choices are they most glad they have, and what responsibility do we have for paying to be FREE. Some might think of paying in terms of taxes to a government who protects and provides, others might view community service as a way to give back (and perhaps helping others become FREE).

Enjoy the many choices you have!

Paul… Read More!

eRipples v3.28: Ripples of FREEDOM!

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eRipples: Your Free Weekly Splash of Inspiration
from Paul & The Ripples Project
eRipples v3.28: Ripples of FREEDOM!

PEBBLE ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Freedom is knowing who you really are.
-Linda Thomson, submitted by Judy Ashby

BOULDER ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

We can have
we can have

We design our lives
through the power
of our choices.
– Richard Bach, submitted by Tara Francis

PONDER ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

I celebrated Independence Day with a few days of rest and relaxation. I
spent time thinking about the choices I make which bring me more
freedom, and some of my choices which create less freedom. It seems
there are times when I choose to let little frustrations really bother me
(when IS that dog going to stop barking, when IS that person going to get
out of my way) and I can let a moment or even an entire afternoon slip
away without remembering that I could free myself from a bad mood just
by choosing a different mindset or simply focusing on something else.

If you are feeling trapped right now, perhaps you can spend this week
expanding your freedom by expanding your choices about how you think
or feel about something!

Oh, and enjoy today! Even though some of the hottest days of summer
have yet to arrive, the daylight hours are already shrinking a few minutes
each day so be sure you see a few awesome sunsets while they are
happening after 8pm instead of at 6pm!


Paul… Read More!

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