During senior year of high school, three of my good friends and I were granted an extraordinary amount of freedom. We formed a rocket team to compete in a national competition. It was a great excuse to play with wood, razors, glue, and paint.
Qualifying for the competition required us to be off campus often to launch rockets and analyze their flights. Which required driving there, often in our own vehicles.
Though there was definitely a rule against driving our cars off campus during school time, we were the exception to the rule.
This freedom was not free, however. It was only possible thanks to two very good reasons. Did you know freedom always hangs around its two friends?
The first is discipline.
The four of us did our homework on time. We were in the advanced classes. We worked very hard to compete with each other on every quiz and test. We were studying physics and calculus and we applied our rocketry design to our homework and vice versa.
For the most part, we followed the rules and didn’t make trouble.
The second is responsibility.
We were trusted to do what we were told, even when no teachers were around. Each time we were granted a little freedom, we proved we could manage ourselves well and not abuse the power. Though we were mischievous for sure, we didn’t ever get in much trouble.
It took us years to earn a reputation for responsibility.
During senior year, these two combined to earn us freedom — glorious freedom!
Freedom to drive off campus and play games in class and many other liberties forbidden to students. Of course, this all depended on our willingness to respect the teachers’ rules, get our work done, and be a good example to the younger students.
And you know what? It felt so good to be trusted, there was no way we would abuse our freedom!
What a great life lesson.
It’s difficult to earn freedom. It takes tons of discipline and years of responsibility. Those who don’t have it resent those who do. They whine about not having it.
But those who have earned freedom have found a very good thing.
Are you earning freedom through discipline and responsibility? How would your boss or spouse answer this question about you?