Escapism is Not Freedom

I meet way too many people who confuse escapism with freedom.

This is a deadly confusion for one's career and one's life.

Escapism is when we run away, when we numb the pain, or when we avoid things.  Escapism is not always constructive.  At best it rests, recharges, and inspires us.  At worse it lets us ignore things until the pain goes away.  However, escapism is not actively engaging issues, solving problems, and improving things.

Freedom is when we have the ability – the skill, resources, and opportunity – to make a decision and follow through on what we want.  Freedom is the ability to choose and not have circumstances or others dictate your choice for you.  Freedom is the ability to take and face the consequences of choice.

These two are NOT the same.

Confusing escapism with freedom is all too easy – escapism after all lets you avoid the pain of things.  Escapism doesnít provide freedom however because it doesn't involve choosing or facing issues, it doesn't necessarily empower.  It avoids, numbs, or gives rest.

Never mix the two up.  Numbing your pain doesn't solve what caused the problem in many cases, and a good vacation may let you rest, but won't free you permanently of the problems you face.

– Steven Savage