L’homme est né libre, et partout il est dans les fers.”

(Man is born free, but everywhere, he is in chains) – Rousseau

Always skin-shedding – chain-shedding, we worrying people. But….

No sooner do you pat your own back for getting rid of some self-limiting rubbish (you know, like a salary, or feeling you ought to be nice), than you find you’re saddled with another heavy yoke (usually of your own devising) that you’d never even noticed before (like wanting to look acceptable, you know: living free of pustulating sores, for example).

Ok, ok, so I have salted it up a bit.  But pause a second. When you kicked a bad habit, you freed yourself. When you deliberately lost weight, or learnt a new skill, you freed yourself. When you accepted you got it wrong, you freed yourself. When you did something that scared you shitless – you freed yourself. Every time, you changed. You became something additional to what you’d been before.

It would have been very weird, however, if you then said, “Right, that’s it! I’m done! I’m perfect now!” and didn’t allow yourself to make any further changes; stopped yourself spotting any further “chains” or from doing anything about them.

And perhaps that is the nature of life. Perhaps it’s even a defining quality of life? That once you stop unchaining yourself every day, you may as well be dead? Because in all other senses – morally, spiritually, intellectually – you are dead once you stop changing?

I thought this up – to start with – when I spotted that I chain myself to this computer rather too much. It hypnotises me into not leaving it, into not doing all the things I should……