One way to understand existentialism is as an attempt to find meaning in a world that’s lost its faith.
You don’t get to choose whether or not to make choices. As Sartre memorably puts it, we are condemned to be free.
Maybe true freedom lies not in being free from all obstacles but in imposing the right obstacles—that is, the ones that channel you in the direction you want or need to go.
If I was to teach in a prison, I asked myself, what’s a topic on which I stand to learn as much from my students as they stand to learn from me? The answer announced itself at once: freedom.