So much freedom, so much choice, so many opportunities to matter.
And yet, our cultural instinct is to find a place to hold us, a spot where we are safe from the responsibility/obligation/opportunity to choose. Because if we choose, then we are responsible, aren’t we?
The cage keeps us in, certainly, but it also keeps everything else out. It protects us from a world that we have decided offers challenges, not opportunities.
Franz Kafka wrote about the cage in search of a bird, a trap that was incomplete until it found something to trap. But the reverse is more true, and sadder still. We are often birds that are unhappy until we find a cage that takes away our freedom.
We were born free to fly, to create, to innovate and grow but instead we want a cage, a job, a factory with a boss to tie us down.
The industrial revolution has created a world of people who are looking to be caged for the security of a guaranteed salary.
The poem: A Bird In A Cage by Srishti Chaplot captures this message:
There it lies…..a bird in a cage
Sitting silently…looking outside
Sees seasons change
People come and go
Enjoys its own life..maybe not enjoying
Its just existing
Once a dream filled it with limitless faith
Then full of energy and enthusiasm
It pursued it with full might
Flew energetically here and there
Forgetting the bars…that its in a cage
And the bars torn its wings apart just in time
Shattering its faith, its hope and its dreams
And the bird lied in the cage..badly injured
Then thought as to why it ever gained the faith to fly?
When all it had to gain was its defeat…death…
People passing by saw…but none helped it recover
And the bird cursed the cage for being there
And all it did now was to dream
When it will fly in that vast stretching sky
Flying..which is the very innate nature of a bird
Soon time passed and passed and passed
And dreams passed into nothingness
And the faith to fly forgotten!