Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Freedom of Choice or the Choice to be Free

Since a couple of centuries the freedom of the people changed dramatically, from servants, slaves, hard working peasants, factory workers etc. towards a week of just 5 working days and in many parts of the world with “only” 8h of actual working time per day. It seems that the humans jumped out of the slavery box into a new one, a box which is transparent and with no text on it. We feel more free than ever, we can buy more stuff than any generation before us, we have tons of stores to choice our products from, more than 100 different channels in our favorite box, the television. We even have access to Internet and therefore basically the key to all information available online. We use cellphones, Iphones, Blackbarries, Calendars, Notebooks, Twitter, Facebook and many other mediums to stay informed about what is going on in the world and about what we still “have” to do.
We believe in the system, we believe to be always reachable, available, on time, because being on schedule gives us the opportunity to do more, to maximize our efficiency to be closer to our loved ones and the ones we just need in order to have more “freedom” of choice. But what does freedom actually means for us? Is it not in reality a hidden box of less freedom than any other box humanity was trapped in before, but we don’t realize it?

If you think you're free, there's no escape possible. ~Ram Dass

Are we not enslaved into a world of thousands of choices per day, many are unconsciousness choices, others we take consciously. It starts in the morning, which article we read first, which we just read superficially, what kind of cloth to we put on, maybe this depends already from our to do list, persons we see today, or lets say planned to see today, because how many meetings appointments get cancelled or rescheduled in the last minute? Is it worth it to paint the nails today, or maybe to shave legs, arms, chest, bikini zone or not? Anyway its time to got, with or without the separator of days, hours, minutes and seconds on the arm, today its cooler to not have a watch, to at least feel like living without time, and instead use the GPS-positioning tracking system called mobile phone to follow the schedule.

Yes we are the mobile generation, or at least we believe we are, because we can connect us to every person we want, wherever we are, we believe the world which we created in our head were no limits exists anymore. When we leave the house, our apartment or hotel during vacations and business traveling, we are again faced with a decision, do we gonna take the stairs or the elevator? Most people tend to choice the comfortable solution and while waiting until the elevator comes they are are thinking if they have enough time in their schedule to go to the gym after work. Routines may help at the first sight to reduce the time and energy we use to think about certain processes or daily habits, like the breakfast, the way we get to work or school, but in reality they are also just brakes to our freedom of living in the moment, in the Now.

Many ways we have to go, drive or just want to see, experience etc. and we have always the freedom to choice between one way and the other, which way is shorter, faster, with less traffic, all depends on the time, but we can also choice between the different transport mediums, car , taxi, bus, train, metro, tram, bus, walking or by bike. Our free world is full of choices and we are under heavy influence of people who want us to believe, think or feel every day new necessities: Advertisement, not only in the television, which an average European watches 4 ½h voluntary per day, but also on billboards in the street, house walls, on roofs, in the radio, newspapers, journals, metros and trucks and many more, actually we are confronted with publicity, propaganda statistically more than 300 times per day. Several hundred of brands tell us daily that buying or consuming there products or services makes us happier, faster, healthier, richer or just more relaxing.

Shopping, here starts the biggest war of decision, the consumer freedom of choice is in reality a hassle, a constant struggle, a never ending fight in our head about what to buy next, where and how. Today we have more opportunities to purchase a product than ever before. Thousands of online stores hundreds of small ones in town and more and more super big ones, the temples of our times, the consumer temples. We have the idea that inside this mega complexes we will find everything we need and desire.
The problem is that ones we have used our freedom to buy something, to have the idea of a certain product in mind, we have to choice again and normally between dozens of products who seem the same to us. It does not matter if we are looking for a car, a yogurt or spaghetti, the freedom of choice becomes a torture, and it is scientifically proven that having the choice between 2 or more options, it can not make one happy.

In a world without competition, profit orientated market that would be different. In a world where only the most sustainable, long lasting and less harmful product would be sold or even better for free available, all the energy, worries and struggles for finding the the best product would be obsolete and ones mind could be free for creativity, peace and love. Since we can not change the world, we can change our self and opt for a less consuming lifestyle, a more harmonious one with a free mind open for new challenges beyond materialism, superficialism and capitalism. By not consuming at all, not using money any more we can make this dream come true already today. The choice to be free in harmony with the earth and our brothers and sisters.

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