“The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.”
– Albert Camus –
“If you want to fly, give up everything that weighs you down.”
– Buddha –
What is the essence of freedom?
I met a man years ago who was a professional real estate entrepreneur. He used to work for about eight months a year on various projects. Mostly, he bought dilapidated properties for cheap prices, fixed them up, and rented them out. He was able to set up his businesses, then go and travel for two to four months per year. He used to cycle across the continents with other friends. He biked through Europe, Africa, and when I met him he was planning on traversing all of Eurasia. He loved it! He explained to me that there was no point in going away for a few days or weeks. Travel should be complete immersion. Not just a little “weekend fling”. That’s exactly what he did. He crossed continents, meeting and making exchanges with people from a wide range of cultural backgrounds. And while he cycled, he was outdoors, breathing fresh air, exercising his way through the lands. His various businesses back home continuously functioned for him. The money came in, bills were paid, responsible employees worked diligently, and he was able to do live “freely”, with his hands holding on to the handlebars, his feet peddling, wheels spinning, the sun shining down, and the mighty wind pushing him along the way. (Fun Fact – Cycling is the most efficient method of travel for humans!)
Is this a good picture/example of freedom?
I’d say so.
This is a version of financial and physical freedom. Life should be lived passionately while we are still young and healthy and able. We should go out and see what this vast world has to offer, seeking adventures whenever and wherever we can.
Besides physical and financial freedom, let’s not forget about mental/spiritual freedom. When every aspect of ourselves are connected and aligned we are truly free. If this man only dedicated his life to the real estate business, hoarding his savings, protecting his investments, and didn’t go on these long trips, I doubt he would have been such a happy, down to earth, and approachable kind of guy, like he was. We shouldn’t always obsess about money, there’s much more out there in this vast mysterious world…
This is why I love animals so much. They are the perfect example of pure freedom, especially migratory animals who travel according to the seasons, like whales and birds. They do what they want and go where they want to go, without having to worry about miserable winters, paychecks, taxes, or hostile authority figures. They are seasonal beings, completely self-sufficient, and living a sustainable existence in harmony with nature. I admire and tip my hat to all of them!
As you can see, us humans, still have a ways to go, before we align our ever-advancing technological achievements with nature’s ancient primal wisdom, which is a perfect system to follow and emulate.