what is freedom?
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Sometimes I think in life we hold "things" much too dearly. We acquire stuff to make us happy. We think we "need" the next new thing. Our homes are filled with items that we forget about. Not long after getting something, it's tucked away in some corner to be soon forgotten. We make "wish lists", or we buy things on a whim when we are unhappy or we feel we deserve it. I know I've done it much too often. I have gotten better at not purchasing things I don't need, but there are times I am caught up by the moment and I think I need those new boots or even just going out to eat with friends, when we could have a lovely time making a meal ourselves for half the price.
I look around my room and I see stuff I never use. I think to myself, "I'll clean it up one of these days, but I'm so busy right now. I don't have time." I must make time. There is always time to do something if you really want to do it. I've been thinking a lot lately about removing as much stuff from my life that I can. I've thought about this a lot. It ties in quite a bit with my desire to be more self-sufficient. Making my own things, being more natural instead of caving into the things in this world which surrounds us daily. Those billboards and those commercials on the television that scream "BUY ME! YOU NEED ME!" When only those things are what make us kill ourselves to work harder, to make more money, to buy more things. And all for what? So that we can be happy for a short time? Because the happiness does not last. And then what you are left with is just a cluttered room and less space.
I think of what Charlotte Brontë said, "I am no bird; and no net ensnares me; I am a free human being with an independent will." I feel the only thing that comes from acquiring more stuff in our life is a net; a cage. It does nothing to free us, even though the world likes to tell us that through having more money and buying more things, that somehow, it makes you more of an independent person. But the way I look at it, that is so far from true. We are slaves to ourselves by having this idea of needing things in our life. America is supposed to be the richest country in the world, but why is that? Because we are "free?" Because we have more stuff? What is freedom? Is it having more money? Perhaps I am getting on a bunny-trail here, really leading to no conclusion. But when you honestly think about it, are we truly free? So many times we don't listen to ourselves and we do what our neighbor is doing, because we are scared to break outside the social norm. It seems in today's society, the idea of independence and freedom is so much different than the true definition. It's something to think about. I'm not preaching to anyone. I'm as much to blame as anyone.
And now that I've rambled on long enough, I must get back to my work.