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Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Wednesday's Words of Wisdom: Are You Free? Khalil Gibron & Dr. Barbara Lavi on Independence


“Life without liberty is like a body without spirit.” - Khalil Gibran
"Dictators can imprison your body, but only you can imprison your spirit." - Dr. Barbara Lavi

Thought for the Day:
The above quote by Khalil Gibran, who lived from 1883 to 1931, is thought provoking & still applicable today. Gibran was a Lebanese-American artist, writer, & the third best-selling poet of all time, behind Shakespeare & Lao-Tzu. He is best known for his 1923 book, The Prophet, a book of inspirational fiction, philosophical essays & poems. The quote tells us that life without freedom becomes meaningless. Are you your own dictator? Is your spirit free?

Surely, without physical freedom & independence, you cannot live life to the fullest. In our great nation, we are able to speak out against tyranny & injustice without the fear of being judged or condemned. When dictators try to take away freedom, people's thoughts & desires are forced to remain unspoken. Without physical liberty people live in a shell of fear, but thoughts cannot be taken captive without our compliance. Great leaders like Nelson Mandela, who is in critical condition in a hospital in South Africa as I write this, & Elie Wiesel are examples of the power of the human spirit to remain free even when held in physical captivity. The recent Arab spring uprising & riots in Egypt today are also signs that freedom cannot be quelled forever. Even in a free democracy, each citizen is responsible to protect their independence by keeping an open mind & free spirit. The citizens of Egypt are struggling to find leadership which will truly embrace democracy.

*Photo Credit
As a therapist, I work with people who often feel trapped in their lives & fearful that they cannot change. They are captives of inner dictators who tell them they are too old, too weak, not smart enough, or don't have the means to change their lives. I never cease to be inspired by the power of my clients to free themselves from these inner voices & live independently. Tomorrow we celebrate Independence Day. In a nation which protects our freedom & gives us the right to "life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness," we each have the obligation to keep our minds & spirits free.

On the eve of Independence Day, I leave you with a few questions to ponder: What does freedom mean to you? Are you imprisoning your spirit by fearing that you cannot change or reach your dreams? What holds you back? Are you living your life without liberty by listening to inner dictators & endangering your spirit?

I hope this July 4th will be the beginning of greater freedom & independence for all wherever you are in your lives & wherever you may live!




*Photo Credits

Cover The Prophet

Gibran Quote
photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/walkadog/3389058334/">Beverly & Pack</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">cc</a>

Dr. Lavi Quote
photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/zooboing/5426098861/">Patrick Hoesly</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">cc</a>
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