Do We Need To Limit Our Freedom? . . .Just Askin’

The dictionary explains attaining a sense of self-empowerment, which is accepted as a true measure of freedom, this way:  “deriving the strength to do something through one’s own thoughts and based on the belief that one knows what is best for oneself'”.

Quite a while back I wrote a piece on freedom and asked the question how ‘free’ did people feel? I am now ready to concede that the only true freedom we experience is that which we realise when we sleep. Consider: there are no rules to observe when we sleep. There is no exasperating political correctness to live with. There are no feminists telling us how to live our lives according to them when we sleep.

We are/have surrendered some of our rights and freedoms to others and are being told we do this because . . . . because that ‘s what we do. That’s who we are as good Canadians.                             What a load of bull . . . t. This should not happen and certainly not at the expense of us not being able to exercise OUR beliefs in what’s in OUR best interest and religion, education and social justice to name three biggies, contribute to how we measure OUR freedoms. We wage war on other nations in the name of ‘freedom’, we destroy our environment to make more money yet we have no freedom to say ‘no’ to pipelines and windmills. We judge, we discriminate, we punish some and excuse others for similar behaviours in our justice system sacrificing freedoms in the process. One of the more perplexing freedoms or non-freedoms revolves around the right to choose when and under what circumstances we die. That decision needs to be a basic and fundamental human right with the freedom to make it yet it has been taken from us or denied to us? No one nor any government has the right to determine that FOR us. NOBODY. I alone should be able to determine what and when something is, or is not, in my best interest. This is the ultimate freedom. We can also see how our freedoms are becoming less defined.

With our efforts at trying to create a greater sense of freedom I think we have lost what freedom actually is or is supposed to represent.  The first thing we need to do is to stop trying to legislate true freedom. True freedom is the result of an inside job, well done, by each of us. Freedom is supposed to lead us to an inner peace of some kind. However, we have become monocular regarding our vision of freedom. We enact laws and rules to ensure that all folks are getting along and of course we know that that is not the case at all. It doesn’t work. The increase in violence and mass murder suggests that approach doesn’t work.

We cannot pursue wealth and power without limiting others’ freedoms and yet we have allowed the pursuit of wealth and material things to become our driving force and freedom has become a casualty of this move.

Educated people are much more difficult to manipulate than the uneducated masses. The ability and opportunity, then, of seeking and driving our own self-empowerment is often dependent on our exposure to education. Being able to gain an education is THE most important thing we need to protect if we are to enjoy any depth of freedom in our lives. This is not any more true than in the poor nations of the world. That’s why they will never enjoy their freedom.

As I pointed out above we need to look after our right and ability to promote our own self-empowerment. This is one of the ‘must do’ lessons that we need to impart to our children. At all times and in all circumstances you must protect and fight for, if necessary, your right to self-empowerment.

However, freedoms and our right to freedom-to be all we can be and to enjoy the freedom to share that vision for all may very well be our downfall. The freedoms we enjoy are made available to everyone. Yet how much of the psychological, spiritual, emotional and basic human freedoms we try to extend to other people, will likely be used against us in some way to weaken what we have and to thwart the pursuit of who we want to be?

So the question begs an answer: Do we need to limit our freedoms and our expectations of what freedom needs to be so that we can provide more of an equal and just playing field and so that we cannot be defeated by having our detractors using our own ‘rules’ against us to undermine our basic way of life?  Let me know if you have a thought or two on the subject.

How do we protect/grow our freedom?

1. We ensure that the education offered to our children is of value and usefulness in today’s world and that the curriculum is designed to service a learner centred approach. Currently it is not.

2. Never allow anyone who tells you they have all the answers to all the problems the power they are asking for in order to do it. All they seek is the ability to control you and to limit your freedom.

3. We need to pursue our own freedom plan but work to encourage as many others as possible along the way. We cannot advance our freedoms at the expense of others.

4. Consider choosing a clear idea of what it means to become all you can be and then accept no   attempts to sway you otherwise.

Anyways, that’s how I see it.

All the best, Jim.  Any comments can be sent to me: jim.lifechoice@gmail.com

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Is He Really Gone? Important Lessons For Our Kids To Be Learned.

Is This The Face Of An Honest Man?  Would You Buy A Used Car From This Guy?

Well it’s finally over and what a finish it was. We were fortunate enough to witness Canadian history being made as Justin Trudeau came from ‘nowhere’ to become Prime Minister of this great land in virtually three weeks. There are so many other stories to tell but, for me, a couple that will never be told or even recognized for what they truly represent will remain noticed. This election was one of the most important object lessons of our time. It is difficult, if not impossible, to ignore or dispute what happened and why. A negative disaster based on fear and untruths was saved by a man and a team who refused to compromise their ideals and beliefs. I think we are in good hands now. The rest is academic. I was looking for a sense of honesty and integrity and I believe I found them.

Steven Harper was ultimately responsible for one of the most significant turnarounds in Canadian Political History and he actually made it pretty easy for the Liberals to win such a huge and unexpected victory.

How did he manage this all by himself? He allowed his arrogance, narcissism and his egocentrism to limit his view of  what Canadians really wanted from him. He made his own rules about process. He broke most of the conventional ways of conducting government business by refusing to hold press conferences to keep Canadians informed. So much for transparency. If you didn’t agree with him he would simply punish you in some way to send a message to others who were considering doing the same. There was not much ‘freedom’ in that inner cabinet. He tossed many of his followers ‘under the bus’ to avoid taking personal responsibility for making poor decisions. Good leaders don’t sacrifice those who support them.  He was secretive and spent far too much time scheming and dealing behind closed doors. He negotiated a whole trade deal -TPP for the positive publicity he so badly needed during the election knowing that it was essentially ‘illegal’ to do that. HE made unsubstantiated claims about candidates and told of things that were patently not true. He fought a very ‘negative’ style campaign, as usual, because he knew that his record could not handle scrutiny under the ‘public microscope’. He misrepresented the truth and facts about a ‘balanced budget’. Apparently he has never legitimately balanced a budget since being in office and inherited a 13+ billion dollar surplus when he assumed power for the first time. That was courtesy of Cretien/Martin. Then there was the robo-call scandal subverting the electoral process, the blatant attempt to hold onto power and to avoid a public inquiry by implementing prorogation of parliament and the senators scandal. Many of his trusted officers and supporters quit near the end of the campaign because of his behaviour and his actions.The list goes on. He is truly the “teflon man’ because much of this never stuck to him. The point is he did all of this despite the counsel of his inner circle. His undoing in the end came about because he simply dismissed and underestimated Mr. Trudeau as a serious political opponent. I believe many people did. He is, by all description, a bully.

I mentioned at the beginning of this article that there are some very important lessons in all of this for our children. Mr. Trudeau may be a bit thin on experience but no one can now say that he isn’t ready to lead, that he is tough and resilient, hard working, a very quick learner (he learned how to fight the bully without getting into the same mud pit as the other two), intelligent and some suggest he is a visionary. We’ll see. He is well spoken, a tough negotiator and in all of this remained a good family man and a prime example for the youth of this country to emulate. For a while Mr. Harper pushed him around, verbally assaulted him of course, tried to isolate him, tried to embarass him, made fun of him, discounted him, ignored him and for awhile Mr. Trudeau took it and tried to take the high road but he didn’t fare all that well. Then Mr. Trudeau took another path. He stood up to Mr. Harper. He began to counter the innuendo and the character assaults but remained truthful so that he didn’t compromise his principles. He wanted to run a campaign that was positive, supportive, inclusive and genuine. He was open and honest about what he was going to do concerning budgets and deficits and people began to pay more attention to what he had to say. The more he did this the harder Mr. Harper pushed back. Again it seemed as though Mr. Harper did not think that Mr. Trudeau would stick around in the fight–that he would tire–that he would slowly and quietly slink into the night leaving Mr. Mulcair to fight alone. It’s the old divide and conquer strategy. Problem was Mr. Trudeau only got stronger and tougher. That is one of the lessons that kids who are bullied need to keep in mind. You might take a few shots but if you stand up and build support around you, you can outlast the bully’s in this world. His acceptance speech was uplifting and positive and inclusive–all the ideals that he managed to espouse during the campaign. He stayed true to his beliefs and his goals. Bravo MR. Trudeau. You have managed to do what Mr. Harper could never do and you did it with style and conviction. You managed to heal so much indecision and fear all in about 20 minutes last night during your victory speech. The kids of this era have been shown how to beat a bully and move on.

Thtat’s how I see it anyways–all the best, Jim

Please send your comments to jim.lifechoice@gmail.com OR jimcloughley.com

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