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I often have to stay out of things



personal • 08.06.08  

It’s good to have the freedom to say no. I like to be able to stay clear of the situations and people I dislike. In this sense my freedom is a kind of negative freedom. The more positive kind I associate with power, that is, the power to do particular things. That is more dubious in that nearly always with power comes responsibility and with that comes obligation which in turn brings restriction. Then the freedom to say no is compromised.

My attitude means often having to stay out of things. This is fine to a point but of course too much non-participation means a reduction in the kinds of things generally considered valuable in life. So, as ever, it is a matter of balance: freedom to say no but with the power to participate enough to stay interested. Not easy.