It’s a bit of a cliche now, but we all know the scene from Braveheart where Mel Gibson’s character screams “FRREEEEDDDDDOOOOMMMM!!!” as some medieval device or another removes an offscreen part of his anatomy. Despite the cost, he never gave up his fight for freedom.
And really, can you put a value on your freedom? And are you really free?
You get up at 5 a.m. every morning to hop through the shower, commute to some office somewhere, and sit at a desk for 8 hours so some company can make a few more bucks. Oh, and they might pay you for it. Are you really free? Can you do what you please? Why not?
We all accept the yoke of the “job” because we want things. And we need things. The things we need are relatively minor in most cases. It’s the things that we want that really drive us to go to work each day. Part of our goal as Personal Finance students (that’s what we all are) is to realize what wants we really care about achieving. An example; As usual, black Friday rolled around with lots of great deals. Several such deals revolved around various sizes of LCD and Plasma HDTV sets. I really, really want one. Badly want one. As a result, I’ve struggled with the issue all week. Should I go get one? Shouldn’t I? In the end, I decided against it. Firstly, it wasn’t in our budget. I shouldn’t have to go farther than that, but I did. Secondly, I’ve gotten much better about recognizing and separating wants from needs. I do want a new fancy tv. But I don’t need it. And until I do, it’s going to the bottom of the want list.
Recently, there has been lots of talk about our economy and how bad it is getting. Along with that has been talk about the thousands upon thousands of layoffs that have been announced. Luckily, I’m not one of them. Yet. I really don’t foresee me joining them. For that I am thankful. Or at least I was until I read the Fire Fly Manifesto. Ok, the thought of losing my job is enough to put my blood pressure into previously unseen heights and give me a stress ulcer. But that manifesto makes it sound like it’s all gonna be ok.
It’s an incredibly motivating piece. And I truly came away from it wondering if it wouldn’t be better if I did join the corps of the unemployed. And then I broke out in sweats. But I did think about it. And there is a part of me that wishes I had the freedom of the unemployed to do with my time as I choose.
If you have recently lost your job (especially you) or if you feel that your job is threatened, you need to read this paper. It’s short and sweet and free. The author is pushing his site and his upcoming book, but only lightly and the Fire Fly Manifesto really stands on it’s own. Even if you don’t feel threatened, you should read it.