McCauley Musings

Freedom: A Double-Edged Sword

Freedom can mean different things depending on where we are in life, and can change over time – just like we do. When I was a child, finishing school at the end of June was freedom. I had two summer months ahead of me where I didn’t have to get up early, do homework, or take exams.

Then, many years later, I viewed finishing my formal education, as freedom. However, now I had to work as well as do other things that fall under the broad category of “adulting.”

In his classic song “Me and Bobby McGee,” Kris Kristofferson wrote that, “freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose.” I did some research as to what Kristofferson meant by this line. In an interview in Performing Songwriter magazine from 2015, he said that the main character in the song leaves the girl, so he has freedom, but at the same time he’s devastated. So, in this case, freedom is a double-edged sword. (A point of explanation: “Bobby McGee” is a woman. The interpretation seems different when Janis Joplin, who made the song famous, sings it.)

You’re retiring? Now you have to figure out what to do with your time. Ending a relationship? You must find a way to heal and move on. Finally purchased a house of your own? Congratulations! However, with that comes new responsibilities.

Every situation in life has its pros and cons. Freedom is just another word for learning to live with the consequences of our choices and circumstances.

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