The Enemy of Progress

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Someone reminded me this morning of a Harriet Tubman quote:

“I freed a thousand slaves. I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves.”

It made me think.

What if the greatest barrier to our own personal freedom is the belief we’re already free?

It’s almost as if once the idea of freedom is acquired, we stop yearning for it. We accept the status quo as the trappings of a free world.

In other words, we don’t go looking for things that aren’t lost. Just like we don’t try to learn things you think you’ve already mastered.

I’m reminded of an alleged quote from Socrates:

“All I know is I know nothing.”

Perhaps it was the intellectual humility with which he approached knowledge that led him to develop such profound ideas during his lifetime.

By refusing to coronate himself king of any particular subject, his admission of still being a learner allowed him to continue yearning for more.

I wonder how radically different our lives could be if we approached everything with the same brazen awareness.

No matter how much progress we make, there will always be mountains left to climb.