As a new year arrives, most of us reflect on the past year and hope this coming year will be better than the last. We like to think we have the power to free ourselves from our past. In some respects we do, but what exactly is freedom?
Freedom means different things to different people. Some want to be free from worry/pain. Others what to be free from a tyrannical government. There is religious freedom, financial freedom, and just plain freedom. Freedom can take any shape and size, but what most of us forget is that freedom isn’t free. There is always a cost for freedom, a cost we might not be aware of. We have all heard the saying, “There’s no such thing as a free lunch.” Some people think there should be or mistake that it is free, at least to them.
There is always a caveat to freedom. If you want freedom from laws, you have to accept the dangers that accompany that freedom from laws. If you’re free from laws, so are others. Very few people have the moral compass to survive that kind of freedom, and it’s not the moral compass that points to a moral north. If you want the freedom to do whatever you want (within the law), you better have a lot of money or a way to make the money needed for that lifestyle. That money has to be earned by someone.
Some idiots believe the government should pay for everything. Dumbass, where do governments get their money? From taxpayers! Yes, governments can (and do) print money, but it makes money worth less than before. The more social programs/services a government provides, the more it must tax its citizens. Want the government to take care of everything? You better like only getting 20% of your paycheck. Wait, you want more of your paycheck? Better give up some services. Besides, governments use and abuse their power. They are going to spend shit on themselves and fuck us all out of our taxpayer dollars.
Freedom isn’t so simple. There is a balance we must all strive for between freedom and responsibility. If we want total freedom, we must work harder to provide for ourselves and our family. This includes food, shelter, safety, etc. If we want to be comforted and cared for with less responsibilities, we must exchange that for things like money. Do we rely on ourselves, or do we rely on our infrastructure?
Most of us want a little bit of both. We want to be able to do what we want, but we also want to rely on the electrical grid and fuel stations. We want to be able to maybe hunt/grow some of our food but be able to go out for a nice meal. We have some say in how things go for us, but we are each one out of billions of people. We can only control ourselves, and we’re sometimes at the mercy of everyone else. The one thing we can all do is take more personal responsibility for our lives, understanding people are flawed. Just by doing that, we can make this year better than last year. Love more. Take time to grow as an individual. No matter what type of freedom we want, we all have the freedom to think for ourselves. Whether or not you have the freedom to act upon that depends on your thoughts and where you live.