Freedom Feed

do what you can


Do what you can.

No matter how little. How small and how insignificant.

Do it despite the half-hearted effort.

Do what you can because the teeter-totter habit of doing all or nothing will ultimately lead you to nowhere. It will very likely drag your limp mind, to some dark places, where you’d rather not be, and might not be able to get out of, for a long, long time.

When you do what you can, it won’t feel like you’re doing much. It will feel like what you’re doing doesn’t matter. It won’t feel right at all, or good, but do it anyway.

There will be days like this.

Perhaps many days like this, but they too shall pass.

Do what you can.

Eventually you’ll recover from that terrible cough you’ve been stubbornly harbouring for weeks now. And you won’t remember any of the tedious work that sprung up unexpectedly while you were away from the office.

Sometimes your dreams will be a bit neglected, while you are given no choice but to watch your coworkers scramble and push to new corporate heights. Watch them scramble in a new glorious direction.

This corporate and unionized world runs on new initiatives. It is lost without them. It thrives on reinventing, repackaging, and reselling what already works.

Be patient and keep doing something, because you will always stare down new and fresh initiatives that are meant to replace the old and stale ones. They always replace the work that never had a chance to mature or bear fruit, which was implemented not that long ago, but that is of no one’s concern now, because everyone is encouraged to be giddy with the new.

You have to do what you can.

When you can.

As often as you can.

No matter what.

No matter what the circumstances you’re facing. No matter what the excuses in your head are telling you. Those sons of bitches are concocting an offer for the easy road; a peaceful resolution. They give you permission to stand down.

It’s ok to do nothing.

You’ve earned it.

Wait until you’re ready. Wait until that stubborn cough leaves you. When you get some free time, perhaps next weekend. Do it when you find a new job or get a new boss. When the weather turns nicer. After the holidays. When your finances are in order. When your kids are a little more grown and in need of a little less attention. Wait until those aches and pains in your back work themselves out. Wait a little longer. A little bit longer.


Come to think of it, you should probably have a little nap. To refresh yourself. You need it, after all you’ve been through. You’ve worked so hard. Too hard.

There is nothing for you to do really. Under the present circumstances all you can do is wait and hope your problems work themselves out.

One day.

Some day.

Don’t listen.

Do what you can instead. It really does add up. You have the ability to grow and change by doing little things and doing them for a very long time, and then one day, someone will notice and falsely believe that you got to where you are because you’re just lucky. It’s just easy for you.

It won’t be easy.

Weight training when you have a head cold will feel exhausting. Helping your kids with their homework, when you have so much of your own work to do will feel like an utter waste of time. A coffee date with a dear friend, in the middle of all the chaos, when there is so much work to do, is not only irresponsible, but truly insulting to the company you work for.

How dare you make decisions for your own life?

How dare you want to be happy?

Who gave you the right to live meaningfully?

Ignore them.

Do what you can.

When you can.

How often as you can.

A little bit of I can, will uplift your soul, and will guard you against the awful tragedy and terminal submission of I can’t.


there's no magical fairy dust


So maybe somewhere out there, in a mystical castle, and probably in a dungeon, someone has managed to abscond with barrels and barrels of magical fairy dust, but I can’t for the life of me find any.

It would be nice to have it too. To have that magic bullet. The secret formula. The hidden path to riches. A path to love and to uncover an escape plan from all suffering. An easy way to get what we want out of life.

We can, but we would have to take ourselves out of the equation first, because our life complicates everything. It mucks it up. Only our demise makes everything nice and rosy.

People are the problem.

We are the problem.

You are an unquantifiable mystery. Prone to weave right, when you should weave left. Often getting things wrong. Regressing. Getting things right. Reluctantly moving forward. Forgetting. Jumping to conclusions. Making a mess of things.

You and I are the problem, and magical fairy dust is the solution.

Except there is no magical fairy dust, and we are still left with the question of how to grow, how to improve, and how to live a meaningful life.

You just can’t will yourself anything. Can’t sprinkle anything. Can’t will yourself a new you. A new life or a new wife.

You cannot make the life you don’t want just disappear. You can’t be unborn or unmistake your mistakes.

Mantras help, but they are just words, meant to change the way you think. They work, not because there is sorcery in the words, but because through relentless repetition you begin to believe what you hear and do what you should have done in the first place.  

Your thoughts are the key to everything. Your mind is the true gatekeeper of your reality.

If you think you will have a horrible day, you will. If you think you’re too poor to travel, you are. If you think you’re unwanted or undesirable, people will turn away from in droves, and hide themselves from you at every turn. 

You have to change your thoughts.

Over a long period of time, repeating mantras or transcendental meditation does help. It helps to make you think differently.

But in itself it is not a secret formula. It’s not magic. You cannot substitute waking up and engaging yourself in the art of living.

You don’t have to meditate or use mantras. You can achieve similar results with prayer or by reading good books. By surrounding yourself with successful, loving, and driven people. By having the courage to fail and not take yourself so seriously.

There are many ways to success, but there is certainly no such thing as magical fairy dust.

I have recently come across the work of Carline Arnold, the author of Small Move, Big Change, and I’m in love with her idea of Microresolution.

Imagine the infinite possibilities of Micro Self-Development!

Imagine what lasting impact changing your toothbrush, or the radio station you listen to in the morning can produce in the long term? Imagine what arriving at work five minutes early could do for you? Or five minutes late, if you’re a perfectionist.

Imagine what taking a few extra steps each day could mean not only for your heart, but your entire life. Imagine what trouble you could find along the way. What scandalous thoughts you could dream up. What a tremendous transformation this could all lead to, one day.

One day begins today.

With little things.

Not Magic Bullets.

With micro things.

Not secret formulas.

With insignificant, unnoticeable, ignorable little things will ultimately help and bring you to the life you’re longing for.

Forget the dungeon and the castle.

Forget the barrels and barrels of magical fairy dust.

Focus instead on your uniqueness.

Accept that your life requires rare and tangible actions. Choices and movements, only you can make.

Start making things happen.

In little ways.

Through tiny thoughts.

In miniscule bits and bits of change.


the futile whimper of I can't


I know you can’t.

You must have said it a thousand times, and then you whispered it a thousand more.

You can’t. I get it. I know.

But now what?

Do you feel better?

Does your futile little whimper change anything?


But you’ll remain the same.

You’ll remain in the same place. The same valley you can’t get out of and you have no choice to face down the same challenges. Your fruitless moan won’t change a single thing.

But you can.

You can change your mind.

Not the circumstances or the challenges you face, but the course of action you take.

You can and you should.

In the Second World War, when Hitler invaded Poland from the West, the battle was over before it began. Sadly, the hope of a reborn Polish nation rested in its allies, but the allies never came.

Left alone, against the grinding power of the Nazi machine, they stood no chance.

There was one battle in particular that early September, that my father and mother were most auspiciously proud of. It was a battle between a platoon of German tanks, and a small garrison of Polish Calvary riders on their horses.

There was only possible way that the battle could end.

Those brave men faced down the German tanks and knew they couldn’t win, but they couldn’t live with I can’t either, so they chose to die.

They fought to their death. A most swift and immediate resolution.

But why did they do it?

And why do you keep telling yourself that you can’t?

They fought because they knew they could never stop fighting for each other. If they surrendered, they would have been captured, become prisoners, and if they were not summarily executed that day, they would have toiled in the German labour camps and died a painful death.

They were not stupid. They knew their odds. They embraced the inevitable outcome, but never once stopped thinking about the story that their children would learn to tell.

This was certainly a slaughter, but it is not written as a defeat.

This was a victory.

A battle that would play itself out, over and over again, in the hearts of many Poles, through brave acts of subversion, sabotage, and culminating itself in the tragic Warsaw Uprising of 1944.

There is was a magnificent spirit in those men on horses.  A beautiful spirit that stems from the words - I can.

Such simple words. So, complicated to say.

I can.

But don’t sweat it. I already know you can’t.

You continue to whine and whimper about your life because you seek certainty. Certainty that you’ll make it. Certainty that it will all be worth it in the end. That’s why you look to the stars, gaze into crystal balls, and read your daily horoscope.

You’re afraid of living and you’re afraid of dying. You’re crippled by fear and overcome with awful nagging anxiety. You embrace and cling to your doubts about yourself, and to the endless stories of your unceasing incompetence, and yet they do not feed your soul.

You are always hungry. You are always left unsatisfied.

But what if you can?

What if you do?

What if your mistakes, your painful doubts can become a sign of hope for others?

I know I can’t change your mind.

I can only prick your consciousness.

Before you take on the world.

Try to ignore your futile whimper.

Embrace change. Get to work.

Believe you can.


where are you going?


Quo Vadis?

Where are you going?

Or more precisely, where are we going? Where are you taking us

You stand on the shoulders of giants and without your ancestors, you would not be able to inhale or exhale a single breath, or clumsily manage a simple step. You are going for them.

You also belong to a family. An extended family. A family that includes some characters, but all of them share your passion and devotion. You are going for them too.

There are also so many people you have met along the way, but perhaps didn’t make time to notice until now, that have collectively contributed so immeasurably to your life, in so many hidden ways. Unsung heroes and heroines. You are going for them as well.

But where are you going?

I ponder that question daily. I give thanks each morning for being able to take a breath, and quickly count the blessings in my life. What remains is to begin asking what’s next.

What’s next? Where should I go? What should we do?

Why? How? When? Where?

I have learned much from Mr. Zig Ziglar, but one of the most beautiful metaphors I ever heard is the one about being a ship in the harbour.

It takes great effort to sail and the ocean is often a very dangerous place to be.  Navigation is crucial and no picnic either. But any ship anchored in the harbour, does not share a better fate. Inevitably it rusts and serves no ultimate purpose.

You and I must guard each other so we do not resign ourselves into being anchored by a melancholy shore.

Ships were built to sail. You and I were born to see the world.

We have to sail with purpose. We have to live with gusto. We have to tread the waters of our lives with determination and freedom.

But not absolute freedom.

Absolute freedom is a dangerous illusion.

Freedom is not an absence from something. It is a choice to be enslaved by something.

If you bellow the word freedom from the top of the mast, and refuse or seek any direction, you will die alone, somewhere in the undiscovered vastness of the ocean.

The ocean is a vast and often unforgiving, but so is life, if you don’t care to discover or ask where you are going.

For this reason, we need a compass.

This is why we need respect and obey the Northern Star.

In order to get anywhere in life, we must suspend our stubborn, unapologetic notion of doing what we want because we have always done it. We have to choose a new path. A direction of discomfort and trepidation.

We need to pick a new untrodden trail and unequivocally respect our journey. Obey the laws and directions of that journey. Be aware and ready for the impending weather, and adjust accordingly for the unapologetic rotation of the earth.

We need a compass.

A good compass.

We need a Northern Star.

A plan.

A good plan.

Something tangible.

From someone wise.

Only then and only armed with a good compass, can we navigate our very own ocean.

We cannot sail without direction. If we do, we will be left alone to our own frustration and the misery of some wretched company.

If we sail with a compass, we will dock in many unimaginable ports. Learn many things. Exchange ideas with unbelievably gifted people.

We will live a life we could never otherwise have imagined.

A life invisible if you are resigned to stand on the shore or be docked in the harbour.


the infinite game


Life is not a test.

But we often treat as one. We live our lives like a set of hurdles to overcome or a predetermined set of instructions to follow.

We are always at the ready, to study or to cheat someone or something, in order to achieve better results. We embrace the process of measurement. The feel the need to define, judge and be judged by others. We hate the very idea of infinity and more specifically, not knowing how we measure out against those we’re competing against. 

We want to win.

We want to nothing more than to declare ourselves Champions. Champions of the game of life.  Yet we are always stuck in a self-absorbed, mindless, results driven, data centered life, that all too often, leads to a burden which often consumes and makes us sick.

Life is not a test.

Life is a game.

An infinite game.

If there is a God, or even if there isn’t, all of existence and all the natural laws point to the fact that we were born to take part in everything. To do it with gusto. To live our lives and not merely exist. To become who we know we are meant to be. To be happy.

Such is goal of the infinite game.

A game we have always played, but sometimes forget that we play.

In the infinite game, there are no winners or losers, because the point of the game isn’t to separate the strong from the weak, but to spend some meaningful time together. To celebrate. To relish. To cherish. To find meaning and purpose in our lives.

You might be tired and frustrated this morning, probably because you are playing a finite game.

You’ve decided, on the advice of your guidance counsellor, that you must be someone or have something in order to be worthy, or belong.

You exist in the realm of doing, but you need to shift your energy leap into the universe of being.

The infinite game is pretty simple, although the rules themselves can become quite complex at times. But that doesn’t even matter because mistakes aren’t disastrous roadblocks, like they are in the other contest, they are simply fascinating lessons, to carry with you, in order to sharpen your skill, and become a better player.

Life is a game to be played with friends and strangers alike.

It is an infinite game precisely because it never ends. It can be played anywhere and everywhere. In all seasons, and on all budgets.

When you go to dinner with your dearest friend, for example, you certainly won’t go out, so you can become less hungry, and to continue your noble quest not to die. I think you’ll go out to share a meal together, to experience each other’s company, to laugh, or perhaps to cry, but the meal, the meal itself, is an inconsequential part of the equation.

We are funny creatures.

As finite beings who need to face our own mortality we become quite miserable when we engage in finite tasks and limited adventures. We are only happy, truly happy, when we participate in things that stretch beyond the temporal world. When we enter the real of faith, hope, and love. We are happy, when we don’t know why we are happy.

I encourage you to take a stand and decide which game you are going to play.

I strongly recommend investing more time in an infinite contest. The finite one has too many cranky, bitchy people in it, who are fighting over a very small square of space, while you have the opportunity to walk anywhere and be anything, surrounded by the luscious infinity of space.

Go out and play.

Never stop playing.

Enjoy the rehearsal.

Performance is a finite trap.


staying afloat in society's negative sewer system



A glorious new day. A beautiful new beginning. A new promise. A possibility of a new life.

I won’t lie to you, that I don’t approach my Monday’s with a little bit of pragmatic caution, or my Friday’s with a little bit of hopeful optimism. I admit that I am as susceptible as anyone else, to be negative and pessimistic sewer system I’ve grown up in.

It’s easy.

The whole society is just a big waste disposal system. We are lucky to get to navigate it, and try to stay afloat, for as long as we can.

It’s a terrible world out there, they say.

Every newspaper and every television broadcast pontificates the coming of a terrible winter, inevitable conflict, financial ruin, and the latest thing that will inevitably kill you.

People hate Monday’s, but how can you blame them?

They begin each day by waking up their miserable bodies in alarm and grinding out through their morning, so they can show up for work, and go through the motions of efficiency.

They cope by making little, stinging, sarcastic remarks. By rolling their eyes. By complaining. By bitching and whining. They try to uplift their misery by slinging as much human excrement as they can.

And for what?

I’m not really sure.

We all seem to do it. We’ve all done it. We seem destined to continue to do it.

What a waste of a morning. What a waste of a day. What a waste of a life.

Being negative is easy. You just flow with the stream. You don’t resist. You follow blindly, bob up and down, but be prepared to shoulder the burden of the consequences.

Or you can choose to resist.

You can turn off CNN, and let world leaders handle Donald Trump. You can stop reading the daily papers, and let police officers police the streets, and let the firefighters take care of the accidents.

You can turn off the sports radio stations, and not get angry and wrapped up in the argument if Dion Phanuef is truly overpaid, and earning his keep as a top four defender.

You can turn off your television and stop going through people’s storage lockers, listening to them bitch and moan about the perfect wedding dress. You can stop watching people compete for a million dollars, through treasure hunts, and other, seemingly infinite, asinine activities.

You can choose to eat lunch on your own on occasion. Away from the gossip, the complaining, and the stench of misery and failure.

You can surround yourself with good books. You can devour great motivational or educational podcasts. You can listen to inspirational music.

You can choose to spend time with friends who don’t suck the living life out of you, and are genuinely trying to make a difference. They are trying to live meaningful lives, and don’t mind your meaningful company.

You can do a lot to resist, but the question is, do you really want to?

It won’t be easy. It will not happen in one day. It will take persistence. You will experience moments of loneliness. Periods of misunderstanding.

But it will be worth it.

The choice is yours.

Just remember.

You look pretty silly as you trade away five days of the week, for some illusion and blissful anticipation of the weekend.

In the end. You are at least guilty of some terrible math.


life is not fair you said


Life is not fair, you said.

You finally stopped talking, for a moment, and you pondered the futility of your situation. You lovingly gazed into my eyes, searching for an answer, but instead you found munificent silence.

Not the, I told you so kind of silence. Nor the, I don’t know what to say, so I will just say nothing at all, kind of silence. In me, you found a compassionate, challenging, kind of silence. The kind that understands the question and sees a way out, but also knows the cost and the unavoidable price for being a human being.

Life is not fair, you said.

I agreed.

Life isn’t fair.

Being black is different than being white. Being Indigenous, at least in North America, is something completely different, all together.

Practicing and sharing your Muslim faith in the United States of America, or expressing your Christian values in Iran, let’s say, will present its own set of challenges, to say the least.

Life is not fair.

Whomever did you believe that told you otherwise?

Nothing will make the reality any easier when your child is born with cerebral palsy, or dies too prematurely. When you can’t have children at all, or find yourself in hell fighting post partem depression.

Life won’t be fair when your husband of thirty-five years, had an affair for thirteen of those seemingly precious years.

Nothing can really help you deal with the destructive reality of your brother’s gambling addiction. Or that your sister is a drunk. Or that you have an inoperable tumour.

Every stage of life, no matter who you are, or where you are, presents its own set of scrapes and struggles. I almost said problems, but they are not really problems.  They are challenges. Life is not something to conquer and overcome.  Life is something to experience and live. The struggle is the fuel. It’s not about doing, it has always been about being.

There is no point gathering wood for your fire, if you have no intention of doing something with the light.

I hope you can see that there is so many things you can do with that glorious light!

Life is not fair, you said.

And you are right.

I answered in my silence.

It is not fair, but it is still worth living.

Viktor Frankl, a beautiful man who survived the hell of Auschwitz, gave us a transformative insight about our last human freedom.

When it is all going wrong. When the pangs of hell are at your door; the attitude you take towards your unavoidable suffering or the things you cannot change, is your last and only hope. It is more powerful than you would care to believe.

It’s not easy.

You cannot measure a person’s pain or the depths of their sacrifice. You cannot count the cost or fully repay the debt you owe to those that helped you along the way. 

Life is not fair, but I believe that is whole point of it all.

Right to the end. Despite of everything. You get to choose how you feel, think, or what you want to do. Your attitude towards the unavoidable reality of your life is yours. It is magnificently placed in your hands. It doesn’t change the truth or intensity of your situation, but it does build your character, and it makes God smile.

No one will be shocked if you give up. No one will blame you if you quit. If the burden of your agony buckles you at the knees.

There is no right or wrong answer. Your life and the decisions that you make are simply beyond all measurement. No one can judgement. Not even you. In fact, there is never a right or wrong time to do anything. There is no magical place. The right advice. Pivotal insight. Maps. Guides. Badges of accomplishments or monuments of greatness.

There is no thing. Nothing. Just you and the universe that is set before you.

You are never out of chances or possibilities.

You control your last human freedom.

Life is not fair, you said.

I agreed and answered in the undeniable silence of your attitude towards the things you cannot change.