Monday, March 19, 2012

"Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose..."

That's a line from a Janis Joplin song I was just listening to, and every time I hear it I think there is a lot of truth to it. We live in a materialistic world that values possessions above all else - "The one who dies with the most toys, wins".

Wins what, I wonder? And at what cost? If we spend our lives in pursuit of "stuff" instead of happiness, can that be a good thing? And if we give up our freedom to live a joyful life in order to protect our "stuff", is that commendable? Because really, we can't be truly happy or free if we have to worry all the time about losing our "stuff". And if getting more "stuff", or bigger and better "stuff" than what we already have is our focus, then I'd like to suggest that our priorities are seriously screwed up.

"Feelin' good is good enough..." according to the same song. So if you have your health, a roof over your head, food on the table, and can afford a good education for your kids, maybe with a few bucks left over for a night out with your sweetie, relax and feel good. You already have it better than many folks. If "too much" is never enough, you will never be free, or happy. And that's just sad.

Of course Janis Joplin also sang, "Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz...?" so maybe she's sending a little bit of a mixed message there, but I'm going to stick with what I said above - I drive a Chevy that I bought used, and I can barely afford to pay the excise tax on that (if you live in Maine, you know what I mean). But I am a happy man.

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