Freedom

white seagull flying on sky

 

What is freedom?

 

The dictionary definitions go something like this:

  • The absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action.
  • The quality or state of being exempt or released usually from something onerous.
  • The power of self-determination attributed to the will; the quality of being independent of fate or necessity.
  • A political right.
  • Absence of slavery.

And several similar definitions.

I don’t really think that anyone feels that they have 100% freedom. Freedom to me means a total absence of any type of pressure or influence that compels me to do, say or think anything against my wishes and the absolute ability to do anything ( that does not negatively impact any other being) that I wish to do. For me, there are three main components to freedom.

 

Total financial independence

I believe that this is the most important source of freedom in the modern world, and if a person has this, they are well on their way to achieving total freedom. Work, the traditional source of money, is not enjoyable for many people and although it is true that in the western world, everyone is theoretically free to choose how they earn their money, there are many barriers to actually working in the field that one loves, and if one loves their work, it isn’t really work as we have come to understand it. Barriers can include education, intelligence (which is not the same as education), temperament, childhood influences/indoctrination from many sources, the financial situation that one is born into, mental outlook and many more barriers and influences that have an impact to a varying degree. The ideal situation is to have a multi million dollar bank account, but I suspect that even multimillionaires would object to me saying this and that they would cite many reasons why their money does not give them freedom. The one thing that nobody can deny, is that wealthy people certainly have more potential to achieve freedom than people without money and if they can’t achieve a large degree of freedom by using their money then they are not using it wisely.

According to various recent studies, 50%-70% of people hate their jobs. Most people end up tying themselves down to a job or field of work by accumulating debt as soon as they begin to earn money. Once the person is in debt, they have to continue the work that they come to dislike or hate, in order to pay the debt off, while also supplying cash for everyday survival. They continue on, hating and resenting the job or jobs for their whole lives. My experiment with freedom began with downsizing my job so that I have more time and energy to explore more fulfilling methods of securing financial freedom. I believe that financial independence is the key factor to freedom. The saying that “you need money to make money” is very accurate. If you don’t believe this, then you have never attempted to generate money,  independent of a “job”.

 

Mental Outlook

The manner in which a person views the world plays a huge part in how free he/she feels. One person could feel trapped and imprisoned, yet another person can feel free and fulfilled in exactly the same situation. Some people feel doomed from their first remembered thought, others feel empowered. I don’t know why this is, but I believe that the less optimistic mind can be trained by the individual to become more productive. A negative mind attracts negative things. The law of attraction is real. Even if you don’t believe this, Wouldn’t it be better to think positive thoughts rather than negative ones?. Affirmations, meditation and manifestation techniques can be employed to set your mind free. Try not to watch the news, most of it is propaganda anyway. If you study news broadcasts, some form of agenda becomes apparent, and it is not healthy for a person to subject themselves to this. Take some form of exercise regularly, physical exercise is good for mental outlook and it also helps your body to function as an effective tool for personal freedom.

 

No Unwarranted Obligations to Others

This is a hard topic to balance properly. Any decent parents will always feel an obligation to their children, and rightly so, as they are responsible for bringing the child into being.  If the parents are lucky, the child will also feel an obligation to minimize those obligations for the parent. A person should not settle for a life of drudgery, misery or mediocrity because of any other person’s expectations or behaviour. I have always found that if mutual respect is present between people, that the weight of anything that can be considered an obligation is reduced considerably, almost to a negligible degree. A parent that attempts to forcefully mold their child into something that the child doesn’t want to be, especially where work or marriage are concerned, is basically claiming the child as their property. I do not consider wise advice as part of this, as advice is given freely and can be acted upon, or ignored by the recipient.  

People who are conscious in their efforts to restrict you do not have your best interests in mind and ways to free yourself from such people should be made a priority. Obligations to others are accepted by people constantly, and if you feel that your service is worthwhile and makes you happy then it is not the type of obligation that I am referencing here. The particular freedom restricting element can more accurately be called an imposition.

bullion gold gold bars golden
Freedom?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I most definitely consider the possession of enough funds to be free of the shackles of “work” to be paramount. When I use the word “work”, I am referring to a job as an employee that one does not want to do by choice, but is compelled to do, in order to pay the bills, buy food, survive etc. Money seems to be a dirty word for many people, probably because they don’t want to be considered a mercenary individual. The world is organized around money however, and the more of it you have stored away somewhere, the more freedom of choice you have.

A person could always just go to a remote area of the world and live off the land of course, and if this idea is attractive, you could possibly find freedom without money, but opportunities to live like this are not very abundant today and most people from the developed world would miss their gadgets and labor-saving devices, but It is a possibility.

 

Quotes

  • “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.” – Henry Ford

 

  • “The mind is everything. What you think you become”. – Buddha

 

  • “Freedom is the will to be responsible to ourselves”. – Friedrich Nietzsche

 

  • “The desire of gold is not for gold. It is for the means of freedom and benefit”. –  Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

  • “No one outside ourselves can rule us inwardly. When we know this, we become free”. –  Buddha

 

  • “ A friend is someone who gives you total freedom to be yourself”. –  Jim Morrison

 

  • “Every time you borrow money, you’re robbing your future self”. – Nathan W. Morris

 

  • “Financial Freedom is less about Financials and more about freedom”. – Manoj Arora

 

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The Benefits Of Having Pets

 

blur care cat close up

Is it beneficial for us to have pets?. I wasn’t a pet person for a long time. I grew up without pets and I spent a good deal of my adult life without pets. I didn’t really think about them one way or another. I was vaguely aware that other children had dogs and cats but I didn’t ever feel deprived because of it. I have always had a respect for all living beings including insects and if I find an insect in the house, I will always remove it without killing or injuring it because insects have as much right to life as we do. I don’t know much about Buddhism, but I understand that they hold a similar belief about living beings.

I have experienced guilt when eating meat and the modern intensive meat production methods are horrendous. When I see photos of the way that animals are treated, it makes me wonder what we think that we are doing to living beings just to gain the benefit of cheap meat. I haven’t found a replacement for meat yet, but I think that I will have to sometime soon. I have always felt slightly guilty about eating animals, even before I became acquainted with pets.

If an animal was threatening harm to my family I would do what I had to do to protect them, but this is the only time that I would consciously injure any animal or other living being. Some people believe that plants have feelings too, but we have to eat something.

I was introduced to pets when I got married, specifically cats. I remember watching the first cat that we had, doing what cats do and it was a new and strange experience to me. We now have 3 cats. Two of them chose us and the third one was born to one of the cats that chose us.

Cat number 1, was feral and used to hang around in our back yard after it was born under the shed. This kitten approached me every time that I went into the back yard to smoke, it would sit next to me and it would want me to pet it. I didn’t pet it at first because I didn’t want to catch anything, but I eventual did. We then started to leave it a bowl of food and clean water in the yard every day. When we moved house, we tried to catch it to take it with us, but it would always run away. We still owned the house when we moved and after moving, I had to go back to the house to carry out some work and one day cat 1 appeared and sat a few feet away from me in the yard with it’s back to me the whole time. This was an obvious sign of disapproval from the cat. I saw that it had some injuries around it’s neck and we managed to catch it and take it to our new house. It lived in the garage for a week or so until a vet could check it out. The vet advised us that what appeared to be injuries was some sort of parasite in the skin. The parasite was eliminated, the cat entered our new house and has been with us for about 10 years now. The cat doesn’t go outside, by it’s own choice. If we leave a door to the outside open, it runs the other way, almost like it fears that we are going to throw it out.

Cat number 2 was born to cat number 1. Cat 1 was unknowingly to us, pregnant when we picked it up from the previous house and it appeared to get very sick after a few weeks. We took it to an emergency animal hospital and they told us that it was pregnant. Cat 1 had a litter of cats but only one survived due to the original vet giving it vaccinations while it was pregnant. We took cat 2 home in a small box that served as a bed and it was not expected to live. It lived and has been with us now for nearly as long as cat 1. Cat 2 doesn’t go outside. It sneaked out of the front door one day without us knowing. Later, we head a mewing and scratching at the front door and when we opened it, cat 2 sprinted inside, never going near an outside door again. It seems that it did not like it out there.

 

Cat 3 suddenly appeared outside our back door about 7 years ago. It sat at the door, looking into the house. Meowing constantly and at night we would hear sounds like it was being attacked. We started feeding it and in due course, it graduated to the garage. Cat 3 kept growling and attacking it’s own tail. We thought that it was crazy but we discovered that it had a broken tail. The vet amputated the tail and cat 3 has been very happy ever since.

 

Many people believe that pets are beneficial to humans, such as:

  • Lowering stress levels
  • Companionship for the lonely
  • Lowering heart attack risk
  • Helps keep older people’s brains sharp
  • Some pets encourage you to exercise, because they demand it.
  • A pet can reduce pain
  • Makes children less likely to get allergies

And many more benefits. Most of the results have come from various scientific studies.

There are also reported of pets having psychic powers and reports of pets saving their human’s lives.

I don’t like to use the phrase “owning a pet” because any pet owner will confirm that they don’t own their pet, it is more of a friendship and mutual understanding between the animal and human that they like living together and have a relationship of respect.

I still have not graduated to referring to the cats as he or she, I still say “it” but I don’t mean it as a degrading term, it’s just the way I am.

There are certain animal that have a revered status in the western world. Cats, dogs and horses come to mind. I have also know people with pet goats and monkeys. I cannot see any benefit of having reptiles as pets because I don’t think that they respond to a human at all, except to attack the human, given a chance.

From what I have observed, I believe that cats, dogs, chimps, gorillas and horses have a soul. It has been reported that some people experiencing a near death experience, go to, or through an area similar to a waiting room that is full of cats and dogs waiting for their humans to join them. I can easily believe this.

I feel that it is an honor to have a friendship connection to another species. My cats show me friendship every day and I return the feeling. I never did consider myself as a pet person, but being able to write this post highlights to me the fact that I definitely am an animal person. I try not to consider our cats as pets, but as different beings with different perceptions, not on an inferior level, just a different one, because who really knows what things animals perceive that we are totally unaware of.

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