Freedom is important. We all want it and most of us are willing to fight for it, even if it is something as simple as making a strong argument with someone else about why we “deserve” a vacation from work or school. As children, there was nothing more freeing than that last day of school and first day of summer! As adults, it is always a major disappointment when we have to continue working through those glorious summer months. (Unless you are a teacher and then you DO deserve the summer vacation!!!)
Vacation isn’t necessarily associated with “freedom” but it is a similar feeling. Vacation means fewer responsibilities (although if you are a parent, you are never truly “free” of responsibilities even for vacation).
Freedom as a “first-world” matter is very different than in many other parts of the world. We complain of our obligations to job, family, or community as if we are imprisoned by those commitments. We are so enmeshed in our grievances about our busy lives and schedules, we overlook two important elements. One: most of our commitments/obligations are self-imposed. Doesn’t that mean that we retain prerogative over those obligations? Two: the bigger picture. There are many more constraints and impediments to “freedom” suffered by others even in our own country, in your own state and city.
Can’t find a thing to cook in the pantry? You have a pantry full of food – many don’t.
Can’t find a thing to wear? Nothing fits? You have a closet is FULL of clothes – many don’t.
No time to exercise? What if you had to walk around all day because you had no place to go?
Work is getting you down? School is boring? Too many meetings? Too many functions to attend? Calgon take me away?
Imagine wearing the same thing every day. Or having only two or three outfits – total. You’d have to wash clothes nightly and you’d have to wash them in the sink with an old bar of soap. Imagine having only ONE or two pair of shoes. Imagine being sick but not being able to go to the doctor. Imagine eating only one true meal every day. Imagine having an old car that barely runs – and not being able to go on vacation – EVER. Imagine.
Freedom is important. It doesn’t have the same meaning for everyone.
(Side bar: remember to donate clothes, shoes and food. Next time you are complaining about how busy you are or how you don’t have something you really want — stop yourself. You are free to choose and to see. What more do you need?)