“It is a well-known phenomenon that animals born and raised in captivity who escape from their cages often do not know how to live in freedom.
They are not capable of taking care of themselves, nor do they have the motivation.
When in their cages, they look as if they are constantly striving to set themselves free, acting out of a vague instinct.
When they do attain freedom, it usually takes them no more than a few days to return to the comfort of their pen, with its well-known routine and attendant—even if that attendant makes them work.
And if this is true for animals, it is much truer for human beings.
For to be free means to have a personality of one’s own, to have a life goal of one’s own, a goal that is worth striving for despite all difficulties.”
From Pebbles of Wisdom from Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz (forthcoming)