Several days ago, I watched an old movie called "Born Free" in which the main characters raised three orphan cubs, sent two to the zoos, but eventually set the third one free. It was a real story that spoke, in essence, against animals in captivity.
After watching the movie, I wonder whether the same concept applies to humans. Sometimes, we can be our own captives because of our inability or unwillingness to shift our paradigm on career, relationship, materialistic goods, etc. I am not advocating running into the wild, living "off the grid" like a hermit, or turning ourselves into Buddhist monks/nuns. The majority of us need to earn a living to sustain the basic necessities of life, support our families, and seek meanings in life. I am talking about people who hate their jobs, feel entrapped in unhealthy or abusive relationships, or cannot get off the materialistic treadmills. There are so many excuses for not making changes in life that they remain in that state of perpetual despair and eventually grind themselves to a miserable halt.
As the Chinese saying goes:
『籠鳮有食湯鍋近』 The caged chicken is so preoccupied with the daily feed, that it does not notice the boiling water near-by.
『野鶩無糧天地寬』 The wild duck is not guaranteed its daily meals, but it is free to fly all over the world.
In closing, I would like to share with you the lyric of the theme song of "Born Free".
Born free, as free as the wind blows,
As free as the grass grows,
Born free to follow your hearts.
Live free, and beauty surrounds you,
The world still astounds you,
Each time you look at the stars.
Stay free, where no walls divide you,
You're free as a roaring tide,
So there's no need to hide.
Born free, and life is worth living,
But only worth living 'cause you're born free.