Freedom. Hear the word of freedom and the imagination goes wild for us all. Right now my mind is thinking about scenarios such as packing everything in a motorhome and riding along slick, straight dirt roads. Long walks without any regard for physical ability, money or time. Views high above rolling countryside, and seaweed and sand beneath my toes.
If you read classical Existentialism like Sartre and Kierkegaard, they say that one is free to create their own meaning. One is what they do. One is their actions. Freedom can also be described as the right to speak, think and act as you like.
Freedom can be positive or negative. In a negative sense, it may be about situations such as being free from being imprisoned and in a positive sense it may be about being free to speak according to freedom of speech. I remember when I resigned from my permanent employment and became free to use my own time. It was a freedom of my time. Freedom to make arbitrary decisions of what a working day should contain. There was freedom from being trapped in the office working within a pre-determined timeframe.
After that day when I walked out of the office, this oneness with freedom has flourished in my thoughts in various forms.
Material freedom – The difference between letting go and holding on
Freedom from things that weigh me down and own me. Things that help me.
I’ve cleared. Excluding. Excluding. Thrown. Sold. Donated. Auctioned. Yet my home is full of things. The big difference now is that the things I have today are the ones I have chosen to have. They have not just happened to end up in my home. They help me live my life in the way that gives me the most joy. I have tents, sleeping bags, clothes and equipment that I need to spend time outdoors in different environments and weather.
Monetary freedom – Only the one who has never been without money can say that it does not matter
Money is given freedom in many ways. Money gives you freedom in choosing the more expensive, healthier food. Being able to buy help with everyday chores that gives room for more recovery. Money is given to freedom and faster care through private insurance. As a self-employed person, money stresses me a lot. I am responsible for getting money to cover all of the company’s travel, staff, software and equipment costs. A company eats money in unpredictable ways. As an employee, I had a very high salary but I could say that it really did not make me happier or unhappy. It was just easier.
I think there is a limit to money when it comes to individual freedom. Under a certain limit, it causes the most basic things like having a roof over your head, eating on the table and being able to do things like others in your social circle. Above a certain limit, everything is instead blasé; So what do you long for to feel special? Perhaps the ultimate monetary freedom is to feel that basic needs are covered and that it is possible to save for what you want to do within a reasonable time.
Freedom as a feeling – Hikefulness big and small
One way to achieve freedom is to exercise mindfulness. Find exercises that give the body the feeling of being here and now, so that no thought wanders to what may happen in the future or what happened in the past. It can happen through yoga, writing, looking at the sea, reading books, folding laundry, painting or whatever happens to be your thing. I’m looking for it over and over again in what I do when I’m out in nature. The shoulders fall down only when I put my feet in my boots. I love to feel the sun on my face or hard, cold rain. Anyway – life is great to me. It is freedom for me to go to the unknown and silence and see what it brings when I have no other than myself to account for. Freedom for me is to be healthy, to have food to eat, water to drink, clean air to breathe and places where I find silence.
I want to hear how you think about freedom! What is freedom for you? When do you feel free? Please write in the comment field.
Reading Challenge on Freedom, Money and Work:
- Bauman – The individualized society
- Roland Paulsen – Empty Labor
- Heidegger – Being and time
- Bernt Gustavsson – Thinking about the conditions of existence
- Bauman – Work, Consumption and The New Poverty