What will you do?

On why we can’t be free until we know why we want to be free

In a world that seems so determined to entrap us, it’s easy to dream of freedom.

Freedom from


on and on and on and on…

Yet for some reason we only seem to think of freedom in terms of what we can (or can’t) do; as we bang up against the endless number of boundaries that keep us restrained like cages.

In our desperation for liberation, it’s so easy to fall into the trap of focusing all our attention on the boundaries themselves and completely lose sight of the reasons we want so desperately to escape in the first place.

This narrowing of focus is dangerous though. Focusing on the boundaries only seems to make the lines that hold us captive firmer, larger, bolder. Then our lives start feeling narrower and narrower.

To the point where the only thing we see are boundaries.

It’s like psychological cataracts.

And it leaves us still wrestling with our unquenched longing for freedom. But without the slightest clue why we want to be free at all.

We can’t afford to lose sight of the “why.”

And herein lies the revelation:

It’s easy to think about freedom in terms of what we can (or can’t) do, but real freedom only manifests itself when we answer a much more profound question:

If nothing stops us, what will we do?

Freedom for freedom’s sake isn’t a valid goal in and of itself.


We can’t be free until we know why we want to be free — because it’s the “why” that defines us, drives us, emboldens us, inspires us.

It’s the “why” that gives us the courage to reach for things we can’t yet touch, the faith to step beyond who we are, and beacons us into the life we have been created to live.

🤝 Stay in touch

I send an email several times a year with a handful of the most interesting things I’ve written or uncovered at home, abroad, and on the web.

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