The Great Escape

Once upon a time, many countless eons ago, there was a land populated by beasts. The beasts were more or less happy, but longed for someone to lead them.

No one is sure today why the beasts of the land agreed to this. Perhaps they felt small of stature and simple of mind. Perhaps they didn’t realize that no beast is greater than any other, no matter what they profess. The true answer has been lost to the mists of time.

These prehistorical beasts agreed that they would construct an invisible cage that they and all their descendents would live in for as long as their kind existed. The cage could not be seen, touched, smelt, or heard. But the cage would be ever present in their daily lives.

They appointed some of their number to maintain the cage, and in essence, rule over them.

And as soon as the last of the beasts had entered the cage, they all forgot about the social compact they had agreed to. It became a collective dream that was never spoken of again, for many many years.

Time passed. The cage and the beasts inside continued on as they had for millennia. The descendents of those maintaining the cage had become de facto rulers — even those without titles.

There are even smaller cages inside the master cage. Like Russian nesting dolls, the cages are constructed and reinforced, forever unseen.

The beasts who the rule the cages don’t want anyone escaping. They have maintained the social compacts enacted by their ancestors. The beasts who do try to escape are punished. The ones that attempt to show the other beasts the invisible walls around them are punished with exceptional levels of disdain and even violence.

Some of the beasts have been given power by the cage rulers to punish other beasts.

While they are still prisoners themselves, this makes these elevated beasts feel better about the whole system. It’s now less likely that they will be punished. Instead, they will be the ones doling out the punishment.

Eventually, all the beasts know that escape plans are bad news. Even acknowledging the fact that the cage exists causes all the beasts to get upset. This mindset has been passed down from generation to generation. All the beasts in the present day have forgotten why it is bad to escape.

Anytime a beast starts thinking for themselves and makes plans to escape, the other beasts rush to stop this renegade. They fear punishment, but they are not sure why. They cry out, “You bad beast…you make it hard for all of us!”

The system works exactly as it was designed to work.

This is why it is important to be careful with whom you share your hopes, dreams and plans.

We all enter life born into systems that we did not construct. But everyone around us is part of the same system, and no one sees this. It’s one of those Plato and the Allegory of the Cave sort of things.

When people try to dissuade you, it is their unconscious mind, their lizard brain at work. They don’t even know that they are doing this.

Strangers will certainly oppose any dreams of personal achievement that you have. That’s a given. But be prepared for some initial push-back from your friends, or even family. Irrational fear is indiscriminate.

While it is optional to share your plans with friends or colleagues, getting buy in from your family is mandatory. They have to believe just as much as you do. If they do not, you’re in for a rockier road than you can imagine.

The only thing that is constant is change. The question I pose to you is “How will you change? In what direction will you change?”.

The answer is in your hands, alone.

Author: John Locke

SEO consultant for manufacturing and industrial companies.

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