What Price Freedom?

I‘m re-sharing this post that I initially published on January 22nd, 2017, because it seems like a particularly relevant topic right now. Let me know what you think.

I had an interesting dream last night. I dreamed that Donald Trump wanted to buy me. Literally, buy me…like a pet or some sort of material object.

The thing was, I had to agree to allow myself to be bought. The trade off was that I would be completely taken care of, live in material luxury, and never, ever have to worry about my physical safety or being provided for – but I had to live in his mansion and I could never leave. It was represented to me as a gold and glass terrarium, of sorts – literally, a gilded cage, like a human aquarium.

The entire dream, I was walking around with him and one of his assistants to various places where he would comment on things and attempt to convince me to allow him to buy me.

In the end, I decided that no amount of security or safety represented in the form of material wealth was worth trading in my freedom.

As I thought about the dream and what it represented for me personally, as well as on a more national scale, I had some illuminating thoughts.

On a national scale, if we are to take Mr. Trump’s appearance in my dream at face value, it’s an interesting metaphorical representation of Trump’s isolationist outlook and certain political sentiments that have been expressed by a number of people over the last decade (and long before that, I’m sure) in reference to things like national security and the NSA. People who say that they are perfectly okay with trading in certain personal freedoms for the promise that someone else will keep them safe, provide for them, people who are ok with sacrificing their privacy in the name of security, etc.

It’s also a very apt metaphor about the illusion of security that is provided by a capitalist society–that money and things are what make us feel provided for and safe. The aspirations of success and luxury are really just a cage that keeps us trapped in an economic system that benefits some more than others, and is, at the end of the day, unsustainable.

With the rise of terrorism in the U.S., people seem to be adhering to fear in insane ways. Is this what so many people want? Is a prison still a prison if it has golden bars instead of iron? It’s incredible what fear will make people do.

On a more on a personal level, the dream represents sacrificing what would bring you true happiness for the sake of being financially provided for. So many people live in the mindset that they can’t pursue what they truly want because of money or some other material reason based in fear and a scarcity mentality.

When we make these kinds of sacrifices out of fear, we are giving away our freedom to create a life we truly love in exchange for a life that simply meets our material needs. We are sacrificing enjoying our lives to just be alive. Ask yourself this question – which is better? A few short years of pure, unadulterated freedom and joy, unencumbered by the illusion of material comforts, or a long life lived safely but mundanely? Is total freedom worth the risk involved? And how much freedom are you willing to trade in the name of financial safety and security?

Xo, 

 

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