My accountant’s words have special significance to me and anyone who feels restricted or in a situation that you can’t get out of.
He is confronted by our young man and asked why he lied about being a “prisoner” during the war. My accountant responds,
“I wasn’t a prisoner. You are right, I was in a prison camp, but I wasn’t a prisoner. It’s not semantics you know. It’s an important distinction. Crucial.”
“I saw a lot of men die, most men. Do you know what killed them?
Starvation, the young man thought to say. Dysentery. Cruelty.
“Despair,” said the old man. “They believed themselves to be prisoners. I lived with those men, ate the same infested food, slept in the same beds, did the same back-breaking work. But they died and they lived. Do you know why?”
The young man understood. “You were free.”
“I was free. Milton was right. The mind is its own place. I was never a prisoner. Not then, not now.”