- A contrast of opposites is the foundation of effective communication.
- A thing cannot exist without its opposite.
- But opposites aren’t always easy to detect.
As an example, the opposite of “freedom” isn’t really “slavery,” because slavery no longer exists in our society like it did 160 years ago. We need to contrast freedom with something experiential, something we have all felt.
Responsibility is the opposite of freedom for most of us. As responsibility is increased, freedom is decreased. We’ve known this since the late Renaissance.
“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” (1659)
Today’s tug-of-war is not between freedom and slavery, but between freedom and responsibility. But what are the attractions at the ends of the rope? We could argue that freedom is its own reward, but what is the reward for responsibility?
Purpose is the reward for responsibility.
Life is a search for identity, purpose, and adventure.
Identity: Who am I?
Purpose: Why am I here?
Adventure: What must I overcome?
Are you familiar with the boredom of the idle rich? They spend extravagant amounts of money to create the illusion of adventure, but it never really pays off. They can sense the truth of the second half of that saying from 1659, even if they have never read it:
“All play and no work makes Jack a mere toy.”
A lifetime of hollow, false adventures is the price paid by the idle rich for having accepted no responsibilities and having found no purpose.
A loss of freedom is the price of responsibility, but purpose is its reward, whether that responsibility is entrusted to us by someone in authority, or we choose it for ourselves.
When you embrace responsibility, you find purpose.
And when you determine what you must overcome, you find adventure.
Roy H. Williams
PS – At just 300 words, today’s Monday Morning Memo was the shortest ever. Having challenged the readers of the rabbit hole to write a story in 335 words or less, I think the wizard just wanted to see if he could do it himself. – Indy Beagle
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