Sunday, June 20, 2010

What price freedom?

The answer is not a series of integers with a dollar sign in front, and the question is who said it? And in all my Googleness I can't find the original quote - and even I had appropriated it and used its spirit in an advertising campaign for GameBoy at one point in time. But the question goes deep into men's hearts when it comes to the freedom one has in one's daily life - to choose the cigarettes one likes, or to smoke at all - breasts or butts - tall or short - secrets or transparency? The only way to understand one's freedom is to have it taken away, or to allow yourself to get to a point where you have unwittingly surrendered it.

A friend of mine said recently that the advice in my friend Hugh MacLeod's book, Ignore Everybody, had come too late in her life because she had long ago "sold out to corporate America". Another person described her idea of freedom as "going wherever she wanted, whenever she wanted". Freedom means different things to different people. The less of it you have, the more of it you want - but the more of it you give to others, the more of it you get from them. Interesting.

The question of freedom has come up recently in regard to politics. The Chinese can't have Facebook, but they can have a Mercedes. The government in Vietnam doesn't like Facebook either, but they love Bentleys, because you can't really organize much of a protest with a Bentley, but you can with Facebook. And with less than 5% of the world's population, the United States houses 25% of the world's criminals, many just for
possession of marijuana, and one in four, a black man. What price freedom, for sure. And what name do you give it? Communism, Democracy, Monarchy or anarchy?

And so another birthday comes, 54 this time, and it will be nothing like the last one. This one will leave me with the greatest gift of all - the freedom to think beyond.

blog comments powered by Disqus

The Wild Wild East Dailies

D a v i d E v e r i t t - C a r l s o n
Find me on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn. Read my blog: The Wild Wild East Dailies and keep up on our efforts with aSaigon/CreativeMorning.