I was reminded of an important book I read long ago, which seems even more timely now. In Escape From Freedom, Erich Fromm distinguished between two kinds of freedom: negative freedom, casting off the shackles of social, political, and cultural restrictions; and positive freedom, finding a truer expression of self and identity. When the former occurs without the letter, the newly won freedom appears as a curse; people are free from the sweet bondage of paradise, but are not free to govern themselves, to realize their individuality [or their collective responsibility].
It seems to me that we are called to resist the current rush to put the shackles back on out of fear. For those of us who coach, it is no longer enough to help our clients cope with their lives and workplaces. We need to find more ways to help them create and contribute to better lives and workplaces for us all. We need to enable people to be free from but also inspire them to be free for. It is about purpose not just perseverance. It is about building more windows through which we can see more clearly not more walls that only cast our Shadows onto others.
What do you want to free yourself for? Here are three tips:
In the News
Dr David Drake is the founder of the field of Narrative Coaching.