Personal Freedom

If freedom is freedom of choice, then we are more free in a huge mega super market on the aisle with hundreds of different types of cereal, or tampons, or whatever.

If freedom is freedom of time to our selves, then we are more free in Trader Joes or the corner 7-eleven with one type of toilet paper and one type of cat litter.

Your freedom to swing your arm stops where my nose begins but my freedom to kill you depends on my countries leaders deciding what evil you are up to, and our incompetence at finding any better way of stopping you from doing harm to us and ours. The lines are not always clear, but they are crystalline in a time of action, following orders, executing the protocol, performing the function we have practiced for again and again. Persons defending personal freedom.

When I joined the Navy, my father asked me how I could give up my freedom. I said I was happy to give up my freedom to go hungry, to be without medical care, and my freedom to find a way to support my fiancĂ©… which I had not found any way to do before I talked to a recruiter. She was free to leave me after I joined.

When I was in the Navy, I knew when I was free (on leave) and when I was not (on duty) and I could manage both; enjoy either. Now, as a “bread winner” I am never free of the drive to earn more, and guilt follows every moment away from my pursuit of the dollar. Abuse victims find freedom from the abuse in their minds, but there is no freedom from our own tyranny.

It’s been said that a King has more freedom than a slave and then it’s been said that a slave has more freedom than a king.

It’s a silly little word, with no apparent meaning. And yet I’ve fought for it, without understanding; and comprehend it less with each passing day. It eludes me as I age. Will I eventually loose my freedom to live? Or find freedom some day in death?

Am I free to stop thinking about this non-sense and get back to work?