People are like candles. Somehow I thought that the true worth of a candle is measured by how long it can hold the flame. It turns out I’m wrong. The real value of a candle is how much room it can light up. You see, I grew up in a small provincial town. Our place had its fair share of blackouts. In those blackouts, we light up our reserved candles. We would buy these candles ahead of time just for these blackouts that would come unannounced. I grew up to expect such things, and I learned that by sacrificing the amount of light it holds, you could extend the life of a candle. However, the light will be tiny and almost useless.
I have always imagined people like candles-always burning, forever destined to be extinguished. I know that to think about people that way is rather sad and I won’t disagree. However, looking away from the truth is a much worse alternative. At an early stage my parents and society, in general, taught me how to stay safe, and how to stay away from danger: eat green foods, wear a life jacket, wear seat belts, wear helmets, and all the rest. I was taught to stay indoors in bad weather. I was taught to keep my head down against older people and authority. In a nutshell, I was taught to keep my light low to preserve the life of my candle.
My mom and I had a similar interest in movies. I was so young back then when I started watching movies “The Patriot,” “El Cid,” “Blood Diamond,” and all the other classics. Mom would borrow two pairs of CDs every week. The first half would be cartoons and other child-friendly movies. The other half would be movies geared towards more mature audiences. I’d watched them all. I struggled to understand the mature content for a few years. However, I wasn’t discouraged. I remember growing up thinking, “how do these characters lead their lives full of adventure?” and “why was my life so regular?”
One day my father came home with a yellow BMX bicycle. I liked bikes. I remember my brother and I was very excited to ride it. The problem was I’ve never driven one. I have ridden in one a few times before, but I was never the driver. I needed to learn; however, my parents only allowed us to use it on weekends with their presence. They would lock the bicycle, and we had to ask permission first before we can take it out.
Determined to learn, I hacked the three code password of the lock. I got access to the bicycle whenever my parents were away. Every day is practice day. I got bruises and cuts, but I never told anyone. I learned to ride in about three weeks. It was one of the few gems in my life that I cherished.
I realized later on that it was through taking risks and breaking a few rules that you can lead a full life. It was this straightforward principle that the most exceptional people of ages became what they are. They took risks and break a few rules to get there. Shining a brighter light, the best of us lit up more room and discovered the world around. They risked, and it was worth it. Most of us would gladly embrace safety and comfort versus seeing the world and making a difference. If I have a choice to live to two-hundred but see nothing of the world and make no difference, or to live to sixty years to see the world and be the best that I can be, the choice would be the latter. The price of safety is freedom.
The price of safety is freedom.
I was wrong to think that the true worth of a candle is measured by how long it can hold the flame. The real value of a candle is how much room it can light up. We should not be afraid to let our fire go a little brighter. Take risks, and I am sure that it will be worth it. Would you rather be safe or free?
If you like to read more you can check this out: My Time In The Farm Brought Me Back To Life