Yesterday I read a spiritually intriguing post from Strategic Journey that touched on a few aspects of my life. The post, “Allegory of the Cave” took me on a reflective journey of the cave I once resided and the people I have left behind. As explained by the author, “Being restricted is symbolic to the chains and your situation is symbolic to the cave”.
After watching Strategic Journey’s embedded video, I was eager to read the rest of the story. While the video was enough to demonstrate what “Allegory of the Cave” was all about, the words that followed the video drove the point home. When I read the last line, I was reminded of a question someone asked me more than 7 years ago.
I worked for a rental car company back then and my manager was a fellow named John Boone. At the time, JB (we liked to call him that) was around 25 years old. He and I had totally different backgrounds. However, the one thing we had in common was the desire to succeed. JB had a forward thinking personality and was very ambitious. I admired that about him, but, I wasn’t going to tell him that. After all, I was 8 years older than JB. He was supposed to be admiring me. Well, at least that was my mentality.
JB asked me a puzzling question one day while we were working. He asked, “Hey Man! What’s your average?” Because I’m not too swift on my feet, I could only think that JB wanted to know my height. I was thinking I should just rattle off my height. However, in order not to make myself feel silly, I asked JB for clarification. JB went on to explain that one’s average is the 5 people they hang around with the most, your circle. Of that group of 5 people, all of them will have the same mentality. They will all do the same things and find a level of complacency within that circle and potentially stay their for the rest of their lives. If the leader of that circle is doing nothing productive, neither is the rest of the circle. Then he asked me again, “So, what is your average?”
Honestly, I don’t think JB was looking for an answer as much as he wanted me to take an inventory of my life and the people that were in it. In hindsight, JB was trying to tell me to change my average. At that point in my life I was in a shackled freedom. Free to go and come as I please, yet still shackled to the floor of the cave that confined me. The chains that latched from my arms and legs to the floor and walls of the cave were lust, fornication, greed, and envy. Ironically, the people that were my average had the same chains that bound them. I definitely needed to change my average or I would have been in that cave forever.
Although I have changed my average, there is one thing I failed to do. I was reminded of this yesterday as I read “Allegory of the Cave”. I didn’t go back to the cave after I was freed to tell my friends about the new journey I have embarked on. Why? Was I afraid they would laugh at me? Would they reject me and my new-found way of life? Perhaps, I would have been afraid that I would miss the pleasures that I enjoyed for so long in that cave and abandon my new journey altogether.
To be certain, I will never let the pleasures of the cave replace the salvation of the life that has been restored to me. Our lives, indeed, are a symbolic representation of being chained to a cave. I’ve traded in my shackled freedom. What will you do?
- Allegory of the Cave – What Are You Doing? (strategicjourney.wordpress.com)