Have you ever noticed that the best “free deals” that arrive on your doorstep or in your inbox, have a fixed time in which you can take advantage of the deal? You could almost be excused for thinking that these deals aren’t exactly free at all, rather that they are just an acceptable loss in someones marketing budget, but that would be cynical right?
One of my all time favourite special offer deals I receive quite regularly are for the opportunity to get a new credit card, to sweeten the deal the correspondence tells me that I’ve already been “pre-approved to apply”. How great is that? Not only has a financial lender noticed me among the crop of eligible potential candidates, they have decided that I’m a worthy candidate to complete their application process. Sadly, I fear I have low self-esteem as I really can’t bring myself to accept such offers, there are way more worthy people out there.
Let me reassure you though that I am a firm believer in special offers and freebies; I take advantage of them at every opportunity. It would be crazy to not do so, and I’m not a crazy person. What I am especially careful about though is understanding the true cost of any deal or offer, sometimes the initial appeal quickly wears off when you understand the long term implications.
And so, without further ado I shall get straight to the point of this post, the most expensive free thing ever….
I would argue that the most expensive free thing ever… is freedom.
How can freedom be expensive I hear you cry, is freedom not completely juxtaposed with the concept of expense?
Well, no, not really.
That would be the case if from birth you were thrust into a different societal platform, a different environment, on a different planet maybe. But we aren’t, you and I, we both born into this society, this environment and on this planet. We either conform or we we pay the price, coincidentally, conforming also means you have to ‘pay the price’, but to discuss that here would just confuse things.
Here I am talking about real freedom, the ability to do whatever you want, whenever you want, in the manner in which you choose to do whatever that is. You may possibly have already drawn the conclusion that I am alluding to the fact that ‘rich people can buy freedom’, but I’m actually heading in the polar opposite direction.
To be completely and utterly free, to revel in pure freedom, a person must strive to shed themselves of all trappings, have no master, be beholden to nothing or no-one. And if you understand that concept you will immediately understand how it is entirely impossible in the world we live in today.
In the world we live in today, especially within our Western, Capitalist society, we are unable to live in a state of freedom. In fact we are not even able to exist without paying the survival toll, being alive carries the burden of subscription to the system. Long gone are the days of being a hunter/gatherer, today if you want to eat you have to rely on the provision of food from a 3rd party – sure you can grow some things, make others, but self sustenance is a nigh impossible dream.
So, now we understand the sad fact of our existence, where do we go from here?
While it may seem a depressing reality to realise we are all slaves to an existence we can’t do anything about, we can make subtle changes to reverse engineer the system. While positive progress won’t happen overnight, a concerted effort over a prolonged period can affect the individual growth and progression towards a more freedom based life.
To begin on this journey we must first understand that freedom is not intrinsically linked to finance, it is dependent on our very mindset and beliefs. We are also choosing to trap ourselves in a cultural sphere of acceptance through social norms and conventions. We deem success through possessions and attainment, we deem happiness through the lens of experiences, we deem worthiness through the elevation of power. In short, we need to break our core programming and narrow our focus to the very simple barometer of humanitarian benefit. If something improves the wellbeing of a person(s) without requiring a “deal” or “exchange” of any kind, this should be viewed as more important than any trade based method of provision.
With such simple beginnings we can see a progressive change in the way our personal existence touches the lives of those around us, one persons small contribution can create a trickle of goodness which in turn will lead to a deluge or waterfall of freedom. Through exercising a conscious desire to improve a situation for someone else, with no personal gain, will see it returned in kind, and when the circle is complete a small slice of freedom will have been implanted into the world.
We can’t change society overnight, but we can change how we choose to operate within that society. And if one thing is true, above all others it is that you can only achieve this change through a personal desire to do so. There will be no law introduced (even by the better politicians) that will make kindness mandatory, there will be no debate in the Commons that exhibits the basis of morality over gain, no, these things can only come from each one of us personally.
Make a change today for a better tomorrow – now that’s a statement I could vote for.