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  • Writer's pictureDavid Watson

The Palace Becomes The Prison

The Palace becomes the prison

This is a quote from a friend of mine during some text messages, and the quote sat with me for some time and the possible interpretations.

For context we were discussing the lockdown and how, what can seem to be a perfect life (Palace), without the freedom to travel becomes the prison.

As I mentioned. This thought sat with me and I started to see connections to different lives and the perception of who is in the palace and who is in the prison.

On the surface a homeless alcoholic/ drug addict can seem to be a prisoner, but they are often content with enough money to buy alcohol/ drugs and a visit to the soup kitchen. Whilst many of the thousands of people in any city who walk past them everyday grinding out their living for a paycheck do not appear to be any happier.

And are imprisoned to a lifestyle, mortgage, expectations, relationships, children. All of which are supposed to bring you meaning and happiness, so why do so many feel imprisoned.

Your average wealthy celebrity is often found in a large house behind walls, with no freedom to go to the shops, to use a drive thru, to walk along the beach. They’re not free to express an opinion, or to disagree with the latest social justice trend.

They’re supposed to stand on a pedestal and be an inspiration, and are sometimes held aloft like Gods, but unlike Gods, where it is our job to appease them and their values, we demand they appease all of us, the many tribes, all of whom dislike each other and sit at the opposite ends of the arguments.

They can be rewarded for showing us their mental health woes, but this is a comes with exposure at a vulnerable time. They’re expected to give all the juicy details, to not hold anything back….

And then be accused of acting like self-indulgent victims. Frequently they’ll be reminded how difficult the lives are of normal people who don’t have the luxury of gated communities, never have to work again bank balances and private jets.

However, this could be the problem. The rest of us have no choice!

Our world will implode if we don’t labor on and we’re not necessarily trying to maintain an enviable lifestyle, we’re just trying to survive.

Then there’s the well-paid employees who seem to have it all, including the 7 days, 80 hours a week job. It all seems great, but with these jobs comes expectations and pressures. A quick survey of the divorce rates for these groups of people will show you some of the costs, and that’s before we get into the physical health issues, the drinking, and drugs.

There seems to be a cost to every palace and every prison, and from a personal perspective it’s easy for us to be convinced someone else’s palace can take us out of our prison.

While you lie on the grass in a park on a sunny day pondering your prison and the loss of freedom because your salary isn’t six figures.

The person on six figures has long forgotten the feeling of sunshine, your only distraction to the outside world is uploading your social media to let anyone who cares, know your chilling out living your best life.

Every freedom has a cost.

The pandemic has to some degree humbled all of us and stranded many far from their families. And in many ways redefined our ideals of paradise.

It’s redefined what is our prison and our palace. Where these are, and who holds the keys.

It doesn’t seem to have redefined our perception of either!

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