Breath of Clarity

Security vs. Freedom

American essayist and social critic H.L. Mencken made a valid point by arguing that stability and security are important to a man. Though this is true, Mencken failed to recognize that humans are naturally adventurous and strive to be free as well as safe. In contemporary society, this is very difficult considering that in order to be free, one must take risks. As a result, the average man struggles to reach satisfaction in life because he wants to be the impossible: both free and safe.

Highschool relationships show the perfect balance of the average man’s natural desire to have security and adventure. Early in the relationship, everything seems to be going well. The couple has just established their commitment to one another and still feels excited about being together. Both feel secure and free. As the relationship progresses over time, the security aspect of it is strengthened, but the initial spark of love often fades. Both people have gotten to know one another quite well and there’s not much let to explore. In this circumstance, when the couple feels most safe, they feel less free. When there is nothing left in the relationship, the desire of the two people to stay together lessens. This shows that the average man cannot be satisfied with only that security and that they need that aspect of adventure to feel fulfilled.

Just as security is important in the early stages of a relationship until a sense of desire for adventure is built, the average man is satisfied with living a safe life at home with parents until a deep desire forms to be free and move out to live on his own. Staying at home to live with parents may seem like the easiest and more logical decision. There is no financial pressure, fewer responsibilities, and consistent love to come home to everyday. But as kids grow older into their teen years, all they want to do is move out and explore the world. By an average man’s teenage years, he understands the risks that he’s taking by throwing himself into a gigantic world where so much is still unknown, but is willing to take this risk in order to fulfill this desire to explore the unfamiliar that being secure and safe for too long has formed.

The average man doesn’t necessarily want to take the risks to be free, but is willing to do so if that is what it takes to gain the rewards that being free offers. Being free helps humans to discover themselves and because all humans are born with this natural desire to understand themselves, they want to be free. It’s ironic that in order to discover ourselves, we need to break out of our safe comfort zones, but this is true. The average man knows that it is easier to be secure rather than free, but cannot resist this burning desire to be free and experience all that this life has to offer.