Monday, December 31, 2012

Soaring or Falling

Today is the end . . . to a new beginning. It's December 31,2012, New Years Eve. At the stroke of midnight tonight we will either soar off the cliff or fall off the cliff. The choice is ours. Yes, you and I both have the opportunity to soar off the end of the cliff that is 2012 and achieve new heights in 2013 or we can fall off the cliff to new lows or even crash and burn. There is a third option. You can glide off the cliff. If you're fortunate, you'll find some thermals and updrafts and maintain your status quo for a while, but eventually you'll lose altitude.

So, why the analogy of soaring or falling and the cliff? I have been following the news for the past month and a half and all the reporting about our U.S. economy falling off the fiscal cliff. The U.S. government has a wonderful way, with the help of the mass media, of inventing graphic names for their incompetence and inability to effectively fulfill the responsibilities they are charged with by their constituents. The new term is "kicking the can down the road." That means that as these stubborn, overgrown adolescents continue this standoff, the average U.S. citizen's future is being held hostage. Kicking the can down the road is the way the government glides.

Will You Soar?

We associate freedom and soaring with eagles. Eagles soar, swoop, dive, climb high into the sky, free as the proverbial bird that it is. They typically build their nests at the highest roosts in the area. So, are you going to soar off the cliff in 2013? Will you be free to soar to new heights? Will you swoop and dive and climb to new heights of freedom in the new year?

If you're not already free, as you define personal freedom for yourself, is this your time? Are you ready? Do you have a plan? Are you ready to start eating your elephant one bite at a time. If not now, when? It's simply another choice in life. Sure, it may feel strange or uncomfortable to make life changing choices, but that elephant will never disappear unless you choose to take the first bite.

Earlier in the blog I gave you 12 elephants for you to consume in my 12 Steps for Living Free. I also gave you an abbreviated 3 StepPlan. You know where and what the elephants look like. Is it time to take the first bite as you soar off the cliff of 2013?

Will You Fall?

Will you go off the cliff and fall? Will your job or business, your debt, problem relationships, the complexity of life, the crush of all your stuff, the drain of status and keeping up with the Jones's or your lack of self-confidence pull you off the cliff. Will you be restricted, limited, constrained by the incomprehensible number of laws, regulations, rules and covenants laid upon you by the federal, state and local governments as well as those levied on you by your condo or home-owners association.

Will the government going over the, so-called, fiscal cliff impact your life detrimentally? Will your hard earned salary or profits from your business be negatively impacted making your life more difficult and requiring you to reduce your and your family's lifestyle? The more you allow all of this to impact you, the further you'll be from personal freedom.

Most of us are impacted directly or indirectly by those elected government representatives and their minions of staff and bureaucrats who seem to think that we are here to obey their edicts. Okay, we have to obey those laws that keep us out of the justice system (another topic altogether) and the jails. But, to be as free as possible, we have to find the ways to allow the hundreds of thousands of pages of laws, regulations, rules and so on from making us feel numb. And, we allow the mass media to fill our heads with this stuff from the time we wake up until the time we go to bed from 24 hour news feeds on radio, broadcast TV and cable news channels as well as all the print media. Unfortunately, a lot of people will go off the cliff this year and be negatively impacted by and continue to conform to this burdensome system.

Will You Glide?

The final choice is basically to do nothing and just glide off the cliff or continue kicking the can down the road. This is what most people will do. Life just goes on. The government will do what they do best, kick the can down the road. Ultimately, the problem will not be resolved. The mass media will continue plying us with their typical fare of negative news spiked with an occasional piece of positive news just to release the stress a little.

The jobs will go on as they have been, though, depending on the outcome of the "fiscal cliff" debacle, some people, perhaps a lot of people will have less spendable income, due to tax increases, both direct and hidden and prices will increase on all the stuff we need including and especially health care. Many may lose their jobs . . . again. I'm not predicting this will happen. I'm merely suggesting that this has been the pattern in the past and there don't seem to be any indications the pattern will change.

This is how most people the world over will bring in the new year. Since we are a global society more than ever before in the 21st Century, everything that happens in this country impacts the other countries of the world. To a slightly lesser extent, what happens in other countries around the world will impact the U.S.

Cause and Effect

There is a pretty simple cause and effect apparent here. When the American Dream and the democratic republic experiment began, most people were very independent. They were responsible for their own welfare. They were accountable to themselves. Over a couple centuries we've become very dependent on government. They protect us from each other and from the world. If we can't take care of ourselves, they take care of us. But, as we have become more and more dependent on government, they need more and more money to provide for us. So they simply creat more and more taxes, some direct and many more hidden. But, since they can't generate enough in tax income, they have to borrow massive amounts of money. Additionally, they need to create more laws, regulations and rules to make sure that we stay in line in order to have all the security they are providing. This also requires more forms of enforcement, so more forms of police and enforcement officers and agents exist than ever before.

This is, of course, an over-simplification. It's become such a complex society that it's unlikely anyone could untangle it. It just is and it now feeds on itself and continues to grow larger. We are safer and better off in some ways and at the same time and are less free and more restricted than ever before. The cause is simply that as the population increased and the usual greed and corruption that is common to the human species increased with the population, the population demanded more and more protection and security from the government. The effect is also simple. The more the government provides, the more they have to restrict our freedoms.

Not Everyone!

Not everyone has bought into the "New American Dream" of trading personal freedom for government security, laws, regulations and restrictions. No one can be totally free in our world any longer. Perhaps, if a person wants to completely drop off the grid and drop out of society he or she might find a deserted island or move so far into the outback that no one would ever find them, then he or she might be as close to totally free as possible.

The reality is that those of us who want to realize as much personal freedom as possible, within the society and the system that exists, have to define what personal freedom means to each of us. I believe the one thing that everyone has is common is the desire to be happy. I've never met anyone who wanted to achieve being unhappy. If you're not free, it's virtually impossible to be truly happy. It's the elephant eaters who will soar off the cliff and start the new year with the goal to be freer than they've ever been. It's still a very small percentage of the people in the world who will take the leap of faith and go after their freedom and happiness. I hope you're ready to soar tomorrow. Happy soaring in 2013.

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