What is freedom ? A Simple question or is it.
We are all familiar with the term incarceration. You commit a crime, you are tried in a court and if found guilty you get sent to jail. Solitary confinement and jail time are the worst form of punishment that man has dreamt up without infringing on human rights. Traditionally you are assigned a certain amount of time (depending of the severity of your crime) , to a small cell where you sleep, a mess hall where you eat and a yard, where if you lucky you can get a few hours of sunshine a week. If you are well behaved you can get assigned a little job punching number-plates for a few dollars a week (room and board are included).
My understanding is that the hardest part of doing time is not so much “doing the time” but the routine. Nothing changes, it is exactly the same routine every single day. The relentless repetition and routine grinds down on even the hardest criminals. How do you know your in jail? The security and barb wire fencing and your loss of freedom. Your punishment is the constant reminder that you don’t have any choice in your day-to-day activities, every decision is made on your behalf and your just a zombie doing your time. I think we can all agree that we all would rather avoid any time in the clink if at all possible.
This is what is interesting to me. If we look at our lives in modernity we can all say we have given up certain aspects of our freedom. The question is really how much have you given up or lost unintentionally. I was having a quick think about the various lifestyles we choose to see if I could draw any parallels.
On the extreme end of the scale let’s look at city living. We constantly cram ourselves into tiny rooms in grey multi-story building blocks, with various security measures including 24 hour surveillance , buzzers , intercoms, key card access, endless rules and the list goes on.
Our routine is to wake up, make a quick breakfast if we have time, rush of to some bus or underground train, clock into some very important irrelevant job that involves flying a desk. We then rush off as the clock strikes the hour back to your block to catch a take away “sad meal” on your way to check in for a shower and sleep time. Five or six times a week we do this,all in the hope of our one or two days off (invariably to buy food in preparation for the following week). We eat sleep and repeat the cycle, watching a clock, day in and day out till we either get a better job with a bigger cell ( Apartment) or we burn out. The only distraction is the chance of surrounding ourselves with more expensive and trendy trappings to numb the pain and the eventual demises of our dull existence.
There are many parallels between that type of life and incarceration. However people who live in the suburbs are better off in certain aspects no doubt, however they to have the same fundamental underlying issues.
Lets for a moment look at hard core drug addicts. The supposed scum of the earth. Have you ever for a moment thought of what’s its like to be in their shoes.
Prisoners if I have ever seen one. Never see one far from home for long or have any real freedom of choice as they are under a clock. No fences or high walls keeping them locked down. Just the threat of time. Time till the next fix is like a gun to their heads, always cocked and ready to fire. The ever present need to reset a clock that never stops ticking.
Have you ever dreamed of sailing away off into the distance?
In reality it can be wet and cold, your all alone in desert of unmanageable expanse, monotonous dehydrated food and bad conditions with the ever present threat of loosing your life in a freak storm.
What could possibly be inviting about something like that? Well maybe, The freedom of choice. The freedom to go anywhere at any time and the unknown over the horizon. Freedom to explore. The choice to set your sails to far away lands and adventures.
The facts are , no one can exist in this world for any amount of time without money.
You cant be happy without a certain amount of it, its our life blood.Anyone who tells you different is either clueless or wealthy, in my experience its the latter.
We all have to sacrifice certain freedoms in life and make compromise’s to get by. I have made way to many to mention. We all need to find a way to live our lives in a full and satisfying way. I have found that we don’t need to be walled in to be prisoners in modern society, in-fact its really easy. As humans we adapt really well. It has helped us thrive but it can just as easily turn against us. One day its unthinkable, the next its a option and then finally, its expected. The trick is that we must not forget what we are working towards and whats really important in the long run.
Of all the worldly possessions we could possibly get our hands on, the most valuable commodity we have and the only commodity that increases with each second that rolls buy is, time. The real question is…..
What are you going to do with yours.
Thank you for reading. Anyway it was just a thought I had the other day, lets not forget its only my humble opinion. Please feel free to share any comments or thoughts you may have.