Maybe it's just my sources - who knows? But the general consensus seems to be that the good ole' US of A is NOT the country it used to be. Our freedoms are being compromised left and right, through our government, legal system, political correctness, and really (according to what I've read) we're heading down the slippery slope right back to 1984. The Orwell '84, not the one I remember.
As for me, I'm not concerned with the global picture. I mean sure it ticks me off when yet another regulation makes my life that much harder. But I'm one person and I'm not rich, famous or influential nor do I have friends or associates who are. And I'm not a joiner or about to jump on a band wagon or champion some grassroots movement for change.
So from a purely practical standpoint what can I do? Not a lot.
But there is one very important thing I CAN do. I can remember that freedom cannot be legislated, sued, invaded or occupied into existence. No. Freedom comes from one place and one place only. Inside each and every one of us. Freedom is a personal choice - it's a way lived and not legislated - and each of us has the ability to begin to claim freedom starting right now!
So how do you do it? Here is a list of what I'm doing to reclaim my freedom. Don't let it's brevity fool you. Some of this is stuff is hard and takes time. But if you're serious about regaining your freedom then think about these things and how you might begin to implement them in your life.
- Make a commitment - this is the first step and if you don't do it you may as well forget everything else. If you're not committed you won't do what's necessary so read the rest of the list then think about if you're ready to commit. If not that's ok - just realize your freedom is compromised and accept that.
- Get out of debt - Yes I mean financial debt but I also mean debt to others. This means getting out of debt to your employer (not needing them for income), the medical system (regain your health and you may not need all those prescriptions), and family/community expectations to name a few. There are many other ways people indebt themselves and each debt you owe takes away from your freedom. When you don't owe anything you aren't trapped by the rules of your debtor and you have freedom in that sense.
- Find ways to live on less - The less you spend on basics the less money you'll need so you can save more and also have more fun. Living on less isn't as hard as it sounds either. Designer clothes are much cheaper at discount or thrift stores. Cooking at home is a lot less than eating out all the time. Cars last 10 years or more - you don't need a new one every 3. Smaller houses or apartments cost less to live in. Utilities can be drastically cut back by conserving and replacing energy hogs with more efficient appliances. All small sacrifices compared to the freedom you'll gain!
- Become self-reliant - If you know how to do it yourself then you not only gain freedom from dependance on others but also become a valuable resource (you can get paid rather than paying someone else). In today's world fewer and fewer people know how to do things that were considered common knowledge just a generation ago. By taking the time and effort to learn to do things like plumbing, basic wiring and mechanics you'll not only save money but empower yourself to take care of things that before would either go unfixed or created another bill. I'm not saying you have to know how to build an entire house. But I'm surprised at how many people don't even know how to unclog a drain, patch a crack, fix a leaky pipe or other basic household issues.
- Simplify - The less stuff you have the less responsibility you have and the smaller amount of space you need to store it all. I've simplified to the point that virtually everything I own would fit in my car. I know a lot of people won't go that far but trust me - less is more when it comes to freedom.
Freedom CAN be achieved, even in the world today. It takes the right attitude and a strong level of commitment but it can be done. I'm doing it. I know others who are doing it or who have already succeeded in doing it. You can do it too.
Happy Freedom Day!