Reflections: On Freedom & Guilt

At night, when all the noise of the day is gone and everything that keeps the senses occupied slowly release their grip, a lot of times I feel guilty. It’s this feeling that I did not do what I should do today. When this happens I look at my daily lists of things to do and I see I pretty much did everything I was supposed to do. That confirmation is not enough. The reason being is that only I know the mindset or the effort or the level of commitment I put behind my actions when I fulfilled those tasks.

Some of the tasks were half-assed. Others I did the very minimum. Some I put a complete effort in but most of the times, those were secondary tasks that did not matter that much. You can’t lie to yourself. At least I can’t. I know the truth.

So, that’s where my guilt comes from. Partially. There is another part to it. I have plenty of freedom. I have plenty of choices. I do not lack opportunity. I realize this and this is where the rest of the guilt sits. I am not what I could be. It is my own fault that I am not what I can be. My own actions and commitments that stop me from taking advantage of the freedom I have. This freedom that diminishes with time. This freedom that may only exist now. The freedom that is presented to only the lucky ones and I am one of those and I watch it go by.

All I do about it is feel guilty at night. The noise is gone, the senses are true and my thoughts are what I know.

Schopenhauer said something along the lines about how the ignorant man suffers less and the man who is intelligent suffers the most. I am not calling myself intelligent nor am I ignorant. I must be somewhere worse. Intelligent enough to know, ignorant enough not to understand. That ignorance has been fading recently. I’m thankful for that. My actions have been getting clearer but still, I feel guilty because of all the time lost. All the freedom wasted. All the opportunity gone.

Who knows how much time I have left. Who knows how much of my freedom I have used up. Who knows if this feeling of guilt will leave me.


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