What Makes You Happy? Will Freedom Suffice?
What makes you happy? Happiness is all about a state of mind. And I don’t know about you but I need my freedom and self-ownership in order to be happy.
The people that I meet, and the places that I’ve seen, will always remain with me in my experiences and fondest memories. Cars and other material things come and go with the ages. However, since the day we were born and took our first breath, we were born into debt.
What I mean by that is since we went to elementary school, junior high, and high school we were judged by our peers. We were basically in debt to our surroundings and the culture that inspired it. You were judged by the way you looked, by the clothes you wore, by the shoes you had on. If you didn’t conform, and you didn’t have the latest and greatest, you were shunned by your peers and looked down upon.
Here is the point I am trying to make. What if you were to do the complete opposite of everything you were programmed to do since you were a child? For me, my first trip down the rabbit hole was at the age of twenty-three (not too long ago). For others, it’s often much later in life when they discover the red pill truths of our existence and reject their blue pill faux-programming. As the years progress, I find myself going even further and further down the rabbit hole, and attempting to escape this world of mainstream madness as much as possible.
When I am presented news clips of people dying and being trampled to death over a cheap TV at a Walmart (Black Friday), shown fights breaking out over a new pair of $200 sneakers, or pondering why Miley Cyrus is worthy of making $100 million dollars in a calendar year to flaunt lowest-common-denominator sexuality and terrible music, I have to ask myself something. Do I really want to live in a society such as this? Where do I escape?
I have everything I need or want with my clothing, laptop, cell phone, and camera. In a material sense what is really keeping me in the United States and not flying out tomorrow? Where is happiness, economic prosperity, and a less toxic way of life attainable for young people? For the times have indeed changed considerably in this country, and it seems like millions of people want to throw in the towel and see if the grass is greener somewhere else.
Once upon a time, American society said in order for a late twenty-something to be happy I would have to be married, start a family, and put payments down on a house and a new car. If not I would be shunned upon, looked upon as someone who was just not part of society. But really when you think about it, is that a bad thing?
I just thought about a relative who recently purchased (“purchased” on a five year plan) a brand new luxury vehicle which had a sticker price of a little under $40,000. It was a beautiful car without question, but them I reflected on my backpacking days going through South America. I came to realize that a decent apartment or house could probably be attainable in a pleasant part of town in Colombia, Ecuador, or Peru for a similar amount of cash. Not only that, but the manner in which the city was built would not even make it necessary to own a car in the first place.
However, I did not want to hurt his feelings and I did not say any of those things out loud. I told him in rapid succession, “good for you, life is short, do what makes you happy”. That’s when he accepted my light-hearted congratulations and mentioned that his payments were “only” $600 a month for the next five years. It suddenly hit me like a ton of bricks. He did not actually “own” the car at all, rather the car owned him.
Happiness is all about a state of mind. And I don’t know about you but I need my freedom and self-ownership in order to be happy.