I was eating a Jamaican patty filled with cheese, lettuce and mayonnaise the other day. It was delicious. As I sat there enjoying my ridiculously unhealthy lunch, I started to dwell on the cheese, in particular. It tasted like freedom.
Fine – it didn’t really taste like freedom; That just seemed to make more sense than claiming it tasted like sanity. How, exactly, does something taste like sanity, anyway?
I asked on Twitter which of the two people would choose, if they could choose only one – freedom or sanity? Here are some of the responses I received.
- @taxnerdatplay said, “Freedom. Hands down.”
- @LizChavez said, “Freedom!!”
- @DanielJUK, the clever chap that he is, pointed out, “Freedom! No one is really that sane!” I tend to agree.
- The @ianswr bot automatically took my question and posted a poll about it here, to which one anonymous person answered, “Hard choice! I’d go for freedom! Life is nothing without it!” Three others anonymously voted on freedom, while one interesting person chose sanity, instead.
- Interestingly, @TheCrisNz answered, “If I couldn’t have both, then I would choose neither.”
- And @rob_rix said, “Trick question, they’re the same.”
I see a pattern here. Most would argue that freedom is far more valuable. If you take away someone’s ability to live their life how they want to, their right to choose for themselves, you take away far more than a word, a concept, or an ideal. You take away a part of themselves. You effectively turn them into a robot. A soft, squishy robot.
@LizChavez asked me what my choice would be. So, because you asked, and for the sake of argument, I’ll go with sanity. What good is freedom if you don’t have the mental capacity to use and enjoy it? Does an insane person even care about freedom, and the issue surrounding it? Does an insane person even realize that he isn’t free? Is insanity not a form of bondage, in itself, anyway? With sanity, could you not use your mental faculties to work towards, even fight for, freedom? Of course, this assumes that without freedom, you’re even able to make the choice to do so.
I held out my hand and gave high fives to 25 complete strangers in a row before finally being shot down by an angry looking dude talking on his cell phone, ending my streak. As my hand connected with each of these people, I felt a joy that I knew eclipsed that of having both my freedom and my sanity.
The high five – such a simple gesture, yet filled with such joy and excitement.
Even better: The look of happiness and relief on those people’s faces as they received their surprise high fives. They didn’t know what was coming. They saw a strange, happy white dude coming at them, and many weren’t sure what to expect. But the smiles that filled their faces afterwards told me one thing:
In a world where people expect the worst, and are taught to be naturally skeptical of those around them, the high five can build bridges like almost no other gesture. 25 for high five, 7 for freedom, 1 for sanity, and I’m changing my answer. The numbers speak for themselves (yes, my logic makes perfect sense).
Next time you’re out, walking down the street, with your friends, I don’t care… High five a stranger, smile and laugh. It’ll be fun – I promise.5 people have commented. What do you think?