Every week this Tip goes out to people all over the world. Here in America we are known as the land of opportunity. We are called a free people. We value our freedom above just about everything else. We all love the opportunity to do pretty much anything we want to do as long as we are not breaking any laws nor hurting other people. Every day is a wonderful time to celebrate this unique experience that we call freedom with family, friends and business associates. If you have seen the movie Braveheart, you will remember the final scene as William Wallace was being tortured to death. He had one final opportunity to recant his position and he was allowed to speak. He only cried out one word, “FREEDOM.”
Have you ever thought about the fact that there are many different kinds of freedoms? Today I want to mention just a few of these freedoms as we think about how much we value this personal experience in our own daily lives.
The first I want to mention is freedom in relationship. This occurs when people have learned how to effectively get along with each other. They are able to be kind and “cut each other some slack” when mistakes are made. They know how to extend forgiveness, acceptance, love and true patience with one another. This kind of freedom is sometimes difficult to experience because of the expectations many of us have toward other people. But, when we release other people from making them do what we want them to do and simply allow them to be free to do what they want to do in our relationship, it usually turns out for the better. It has been said that forced love is not love at all. Freedom to love in a relationship truly is a great experience!
The second freedom I want to mention is the freedom to travel; to move around, doing what we want to do and going where we want to go. If you were to ask those who are incarcerated in prison what is the one thing they want, they would all say the same thing – they want their freedom; they want to be able to go and do as they please. Someone wisely once said, “Your freedom ends where my freedom begins.” In other words, we cannot abuse each other. We are not free to hurt, abuse or take advantage of another person. So, that is not what I am talking about. I am referring to the freedom that allows us to do whatever we want to with our time, money and energy, as long as it is within the confines of moral and civil law.
There is a lot to be said about spiritual freedom – a person’s own relationship with God. You may have seen the movie, Forrest Gump. I think it is one of the greatest movies ever made. One of the characters, Lieutenant Dan, was very bitter about losing his legs in the war. One night when he and Forrest were on the shrimp boat, a huge storm arose at sea. In the midst of the storm, Lieutenant Dan and God “had it out” and the next day Forrest noticed that his friend was different. Forrest commented that Lt. Dan had made his peace with God. Spiritual freedom is something that each one of us is responsible for finding for ourselves.
Next, there is financial freedom and since many of you are business owners, this is the one I want to emphasize. True financial freedom comes when a person has enough income so that they do not have to go to work any longer. They have reached the point where they have either saved a large amount of money or their income well exceeds their outgo. Isn’t that what we all would like to achieve? Isn’t that what we are all working towards? We don’t want to have to go to work every day when we have reached a comfortable retirement age! We want our savings or the benefits that we have acquired to take care of us as we grow older. In other words, we want to be free! When we have that mentality, we can study and learn and grow how to work to accomplish that end so we can get there as quickly as possible. That is not to say that work is bad; it just means that we have accomplished financial freedom with more income than outgo. My own father used to say to me, “If your outgo exceeds your income, your upkeep will be your downfall!” That pretty much sums up Economics 101.
There are many other kinds of freedoms. I simply want to to encourage you to enjoy and appreciate each freedom that you possess. If you are not experiencing some of the freedoms mentioned in this Tip, why not work towards them? It is always a worthy goal to enjoy freedom in every area or aspect of your life!
Tip: Freedom is a wonderful experience!
Have a great week! God bless you!
Dr. Robert A. Rohm