(stay with me – I’ll try not to butcher this…)
from Plato’s Republic, written 380 B.C.
(keeping it funky fresh and up to the minute)
It goes like this:
Some prisoners are spending their lives in a cave, chained up, facing the wall and they can’t turn around.
They get all their knowledge from the shadows the fire behind them throws on the wall.
So when things pass behind and make shadows… they try to work out what the things are, like dogs and trees swaying and so on.
One day, a prisoner is unchained and goes outside to see the ACTUAL reality.
His mind is blown.
Actual trees, not shadows of trees.
- The Sea
(clouds blow my mind at the best of times and I’ve seen loads of them because I am basically 7)
So he runs back to untie them and tell them all about reality.
They thought he had gone mad, was totally wrong and wanted nothing to do with this so-called ‘truth’.
In fact, it made them FURIOUS at him – to tell them everything they knew, and the way they were living, was wrong.
So they stayed as they were looking at the shadows and complaining about their handcuffs and how sore their shoulders are (hot topic in that cave).
And this is how it is when you realise YOU want to live differently.
When you look at people around you that operate a certain way, eat a certain way, conduct themselves in a certain way… that you know isn’t what you want.
When you know that the person you live with drinking a bottle of wine every night isn’t OK- but insist they aren’t an alcoholic and functioning fine/
“Alcoholics go to meetings – I just enjoy a drink.”
Who spend hours on social media every day ‘but haven’t got time to exercise’.
- Who spend £40 a week on takeaways – but haven’t got money to eat healthily.
- Who don’t read further than tabloid headlines but still argue with you about politics.
- Who post negative opinions on the internet and don’t contribute to anyone’s happiness.
- Who throw money at slimming clubs, fads, and pills with a super low success rate at getting people slim, and a high success rate at making people feel bad.
- Who say they want to live a better life but don’t change the fundamentals and still complain.
So a thought.
You can stay in the cave arguing with them/being frustrated/trying to persuade them to join you –
or you could step out into the light and start living in the sunshine.
And a question:
Where in your life are you staying in a cave you know is not right for you?
And what would need to happen for you to step into the sunshine?