This post is made in recognition of America's Independence Day celebration this week (and because I'm busy doing other things, as you would expect a free person to do).
I rarely enjoy "best of" compilations because I like to experience the original work in its completeness. Therefore, in that spirit, I've created this "best of freedom" compilation of previously published TFP posts with links for you to go back to the original, if you so choose.
In different words, you are free to follow any of the links after reading the sample:
Are You Free? Deeper Thoughts on Freedom: This post is primarily a collection of approximately 10 quotes on freedom you've probably not heard before (unless you read this post one year ago when it was published). Here's a sample:
It is the whole soul, in fact, that gives rise to the free decision, and the act will be so much the freer the more the dynamic series with which it is connected tends to be the fundamental self.... But the moments at which we thus grasp ourselves are rare, and that is why we are rarely free. ~ Henri Bergson
'Freedom From' vs 'Freedom To': Seeking "freedom from" something can produce unintended consequences, while seeking "freedom to" something is a path to meaning, purpose and authenticity:
....specifically with regard to the idea of financial freedom, one must be careful not to seek money only as a means to "buy freedom" from something, such as work, from society, from debt or from whatever it is one wishes to escape, unless this freedom from is attached to (or followed by) a freedom to something...
The Fisherman's Parable: If you don't know this story, please read it. I won't give it away with a sample but just know that its theme is about the power of contentment, which is a root enabler of freedom.
Man's (Career) Search for Meaning: One of the quickest means of losing oneself is to work in a career that is not aligned with who you are; the only purpose for the work is to make money. Eventually, your primary source of happiness, although short-lived, is in things:
- Life goals become defined by monetary goals -- or at least you perceive that money is the primary enabler for fulfillment;
- You make your life fit the demands of your career, rather than the opposite;
- And if you hate what you do, you rationalize the stress as a sacrifice for providing for your family, your retirement goals and/or your desire to identify yourself as somebody.
As you go about your life this week, I encourage you to think deeply about freedom and what it means to you. How do you know you are free? If you are not content and rarely find yourself acting authentically, how can you consider yourself free? Are you serving something other than your own meaning and purpose for living?
Why do you live?