Are You Free?

For some reason, I feel it’s my duty to make the following public service announcement and I’m going to ride on the coattails of an icon from the generation that reinvented the word freedom to do it.

In a mostly nasal, plaintive plea Bob Dylan reminds us, “You Gotta Serve Somebody” in this 1979 hit song, and while he may have been drawing a clear, but oversimplified distinction between good and evil, I think he was in the pocket on this one. We’re all slaves to something or someone.

Whether or not we’re happy about the prison we’re in makes all the difference.

For example, I’m a slave to coffee in the mornings and as long as it’s palatable I’m happy to guzzle down several cups of the brown elixir. I’m in coffee prison but I’m not really bothered by it until someone tries to take it away. See?

Freedom is tricky to define because freedom is much like being in love, it’s in the eye of the beholder, and it’s usually relative to one’s situation though that’s not exactly true, either.

I’m quite sure you’ve heard of Stephen Hawking, Mahatma Ghandi, Anne Frank, Nelson Mandela, and a host of others who refused to allow their minds to be taken prisoner along with their bodies; maintaining their freedom regardless of their relative situations. Were these people extraordinary human beings? Yes, because they were able to exercise extraordinary control and discipline over their perceptions and attitudes. However, what is extraordinary about these people is not the fact they were in possession of this faculty, because we all have it, but that they were able to engage it.

Back to the real world, to the freedom pining hipster or millennial who’s chasing “financial freedom” through business ownership I’m going to say this: Every business owner serves a customer even if that business is run from a laptop off your kitchen table. Remember Bob’s lament? You’ll still “have to serve somebody”. We are, all of us, customers, clients, consumers, audiences of, by, and for each other, and perhaps me serving your highest good might be the point here.

So, ask yourself, what am I free to do today?

What are we really talking about when we throw around this pinnacle of perceived success called “financial freedom”? If you think it’s just about money you may want to reconsider. I certainly concede to the practical desire for economic security ending in food and shelter, but what if we were free to choose whether or not to obsess about economic security? What will you do with all that extra time and energy?

Don’t worry, I’m not about to break anything down for you in a “top-ten-how-to” listicle, give you any other sort of formula or to-do assignment for achieving financial success, I’ll leave that to the life hackers and success marketers.

I just want to jiggle your subconscious a little.

I’m reminded of pivotal times in my life when I needed desperately to make a decision about whether to zig or to zag. I found the most influential people where the ones who resisted the temptation to give me canned advice, but instead, asked me genuinely thoughtful questions.

So, now I’m asking you. Are you free?

If you liked my story please hit the heart button and recommend it to other readers. I could really use the encouragement despite sharing Go Ahead. Keep Your Hearts I Don’t Write For Your Approval Anyway

s lynn knight 2016

Show your support

Clapping shows how much you appreciated S Lynn Knight’s story.