A New Kind of Slavery

16 Jun

Ray: From 1654 to 1865, America practiced legalized slavery. We are all very familiar with the history of African natives being forced into slavery in America. In fact, it is a fact in history that slave labor was the biggest determining factor of America’s economic success in those early years. But today, there is a new type of slavery that has allowed America to thrive economically by enslaving another group of people. The group this time however, is the American people.

The new form of slavery primarily thrives because of our willingness to be in debt. Because of debt, we often work at jobs that we don’t want to have in order to pay our debts. We turn down opportunities to travel and be free because of our obligations to our jobs. For many of us, employment is often a form of high-paid slavery.

Our worldly possessions can also enslave us. That new car note is actually a contract of indentured servitude (an indentured servant is required to work for a period of time specified in a particular contract). The house, your credit cards, and all of your other bills provide several ways in which you can enslave yourself. But these are all essential components to a quality life right?

Well, maybe.

Your quality of life depends on what you value. For most of us, if we choose to buy expensive toys on credit, then we are guaranteeing that we will work in order to pay for those items purchased. As previously stated, the work that we do isn’t always the work that we want to do. Thus, our freedom of choice becomes limited because of the debt we incur.

On the other hand, if we value our time and our freedom to use our time as we see fit, then is imperative that we learn to free ourselves from those things that require us to spend our time in an undesirable circumstance of employment.

To put this in perspective, I will reminded you of the great soul Mohondas Karamchand Gandhi. In an extreme case of gaining back one’s freedom from worldly things, Gandhi adopted a philosophy of “Simplicity”.

Gandhi was a very successful lawyer in India and in South Africa and sometimes purchased things of great value. Fortunately for mankind, Gandhi discovered that a person looking to be effective in social service should live a simple lifestyle. This meant giving up unnecessary expenditures (he cut his own hair, grew much of his own food, made his own clothes, and did many other self-sustaining works). By doing so, he maintained a level of freedom that allowed him to do the type of work that he wanted to do; not the work that he had to do.

For me, this has proven to be a very valuable lesson. I now think long and hard before I sign up for more debt. Some debt is necessary (especially if it is for the purpose of obtaining a useful education), but most debt is anti-freedom. Just imagine not having to pay any bills and keeping all of the money that you earn. What type of work would you really want to do? Where would you like to travel? What else would you do between the hours of 8AM and 6PM every day for 40 years?

Start freeing yourself from the bondage of debt today and fight as hard as you can to maintain your freedom. Gandhi did and used his freedom to liberate an entire nation. Imagine how much we could change the world if we were all really free?

Note: There are hundreds of books written about Gandhi. You should definitely pick up at least one of them. In my opinion, his thoughts and ideas are essential to human progress.

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One Response to “A New Kind of Slavery”

  1. BDO June 16, 2008 at 6:38 am #

    Debt is slavery. We don’t realize that once we sign the dotted line, we are giving up our freedom to choose where we spend our time [time is money]. We are forced to work at a job [we don’t like], because we have too many bills requiring our wages from our labor to pay for the boats, cars, and HDTVs that we thought we “needed”.

    We must learn contentment. Contentment will be the first step in earning our freedom back from Visa and MasterCard.

    We then must commit to reducing our debt and paying back our slave master to buy back our freedom.

    Once we are debt free, we will be free to choose where we spend our time, because we will have no slave master requiring our labor.

    http://www.beatingdebt.wordpress.com

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