According to the Oxford English Dictionary:
1. The power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants
1.1 Absence of subjection to foreign domination or despotic government
1.2 The power of self-determination attributed to the will; the quality of being independent of fate or necessity
2. The state of not being imprisoned or enslaved
2.1 The state of being unrestricted and able to move easily
This is all fine and good however the concept of freedom and some of the above definitions highly contextual are open to the interpretation of the reader. In effect, one person’s freedom is another person’s imprisonment.
For example, as a Canadian citizen I can quite confidently state that 1. is a freedom I enjoy as a general principle yet on the other hand there is strong evidence that the government is intercepting and storing electronic communications without just cause similar to the U.S. government and for reasons not fully understood.
For item 1.1 one might argue that being a sovereign nation Canada is not subject to foreign domination however the federal government is very close to signing a trade agreement that will further open the door to foreign corporate ownership of natural resources. These same foreign corporations would also have the ability to sue the Canadian (or other country’s) government in the case that their access to these resources is restricted in some way such as through environmental activism. To me this is a form of foreign domination being handed out by those that represent us all in the name of economic prosperity.
On a much more personal level, item 2. The state of not being imprisoned or enslaved is also very much open to interpretation. By most people’s definition I live in a free country. Yes, free to waste massive amounts of energy (as of 2014 Canada is 2nd worst in the world for per capita energy consumption only behind Iceland) and free to spend that which we do not have (Canada only trails Greece in household debt increases from 2007 to 2014). Although these show a level of moral bankruptcy they do possibly prove that we do ‘enjoy’ a certain level of freedom from enslavement.
The topic of debt does reflect the main way in which I believe all citizens of first world nations, and many 2nd and 3rd world nations, are hopelessly enslaved: by the thoroughly corrupt monetary and banking institution. The entire structure is a systematic method of wealth redistribution from the many to the select few that designed the structure. This topic deserves greater exploration and discussion in a future post or posts.
So what about me? Why am I chasing my own freedom and what does it mean to me? That requires knowing a bit more about me. I’m a 46 year old male with a partner and a 7 year old son. Our small family lives in the Metro Vancouver region and we are fortunate enough to live in a modest home for which the mortgage in nearly paid off. I mostly support the family financially with a decent job that just pays the bills. Sounds pretty good, right?
Perhaps its human nature to always want more than what you have. Perhaps once you choose the red pill and see what the world really is you can never look back. Whatever it is, there is a distinct level of dissatisfaction with life – there must be more. Often elusive happiness is the only logical pursuit. Once you think you know what to do to achieve a greater level of happiness then the analysis begins of how to make it happen. Those chains are the barrier between freedom and enslavement. My goal is to define what I want, identify the barriers, make a plan to overcome them, and execute it. Sounds simple but it could be messy. Often anything worth pursuing will have a certain level of chaos to it. Without a compelling level of chaos life would seem stale and unworthy.
Although the post title is ‘defining my freedom’ this will really be a work in progress as the journey unfolds. In general I can say that it’s about pursuing happiness and creating a lifestyle that encourages it. Chasing freedom and happiness requires time. My waking hours are mostly taken up by working a job I have little to no investment in or love for. The parts that make me happy and feel rewarding are sandwiched in between and never get the full attention they deserve. This equation needs to be turned on its head. Stop trading time for money. Spend more time living. Really living. Doing things that matter. Such things aren’t always grand or change the world. They just have to matter to me.
I plan to blog my progress with these benefits in mind:
- track my own progress
- make myself more accountable
- share the journey with friends and family and anyone else that’s interested – it is much more efficient than explaining what I’m doing to everyone individually and in less detail
- learn about website design and construction
- be more of a creater and less of a consumer
- write! I’ve always loved it but don’t do it enough