Are You Free? Are You Alive?

Are you free? Are you alive? Do you sometimes lay awake at night feeling like something is missing? In comparison to the rest of the world, we are. But the statistics tell us otherwise.

Nowadays we're surrounded by friends and family with depression, anxiety, the feeling of being less than. It's a hunger we can't fulfill. And yet, we continue to over medicate, under educate and place our material wealth before our spiritual health. Who do we follow on Instagram? Celebrities. Politicians, lets not forget the latest and the best. And truth be told most of them while appearing to have fame and wealth are not one step closer to the gratification we're seeking. Ever make a post on Facebook and then off and on over the next one to three to twenty-four hours check it to see how many likes it's received, who's commenting and what they're saying? Do you feel better when the count creeps into the double digits, or even better yet the triple digits? We all have. And I'll add that's exactly what it's engineered for. To distract us from focusing on that which truly fulfills us. Because when we're distracted we become obsessed with the things we can immediately change which is products and services we can buy. And what does Facebook profit from? Ads, ads for these products and services. It's not meant to enlighten, it's meant to draw us into the root of our countries existence, capitalism. Don’t get me wrong, capitalism has its' beauty. But the reality is 89% of the wealth in America is held by 19% of the population. And the rest of us are trying to navigate our way through the mine fields, mostly catching all the trip wires. What mines you might say? The ones that make us say, “I want to be liked. I want to live in a big house. I need to drive a fancy car. I have to wear nice clothes.” We are convinced on a daily basis that everything outside is more important than what’s inside. And the truth is that none of those things will make you feel free or alive, at least not permanently. To live-permanent we must be permanent by realizing that the person who is the happiest is fulfilled by the least. It’s simply a state of mind. 

Doubters, there are many of you. I understand. This way of life is against every ounce of stimulus we receive on a daily basis from our consumer culture. But let's zoom out and look at it from a very basic perspective. 

There once was a man whom walked two miles to get water from a fresh spring for his family. He enjoyed the fresh air, the view in the distance. This was his time and he was at peace. Years passed and a road was developed along side of his path. At first the construction felt evasive. He was no longer in nature. But when he inquired the city told him they would be expanding the walking path and that he still had a beautiful view. "A walking path? Why how nice?" And soon if was finished and he grew accustomed to it. But one day the city put up billboards. They blocked his view. When the man inquired they said soon there would be ads on each and that they were going to upgrade the walking path with art. "Art? Oh wow! Okay." The art turned out to be drawings of nature and the billboards were car ads. The man was a simple farmer. He never felt the need for a car, but the signs showed families living their life out and about in nature, being free. One day the man went to walk down the path and a sign was posted that said, ‘No Pedestrians.’ He inquired with the city and they told him it was now a highway and that he needed a car to be on it. The man thought, "Yes, a car!" He had also heard that in the city people didn't have to walk two miles to get their water. So he decided to sell his family farm and move closer to the city to find work so that he could buy a car. But the man quickly realized that in order to buy a car he needed car insurance and yearly registration and a place to park it and a home. And homes had property tax and required insurance. Even food became scarce. He once grew his own fresh vegetables and milked a small goat, but now he had to buy everything, which required that he pay sales tax. Where was all of this money going to come from? The man needed a full time job. So he worked 40 hours a week. But one person’s income wasn't enough. His wife had to work too. She used to be at home with their family and help the children with their school work. Now his children would need to be in an after school program. Ah, but they'd have weekends. But on the weekends the family was tired. By the time they did their chores there wasn't much time off. As the kids grew older they too wanted stuff, phones and on the phones were ads and then naturally they too wanted cars. And so the man worked and worked and worked all day, almost every day for that special time each year that by now he learned was called vacation. Do you know what the man did every year on the first day of his vacation? He went for a two-mile walk and dreamed of the time when he was at peace in nature. 

So who really is benefiting from our current mind set? I'm going to allow you to draw that conclusion for yourself. But I want you to know you're not alone and we can figure this out together.

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Peace and punches!


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