Memorial Day, the day we celebrate the service of our men and women in the military, just passed. Although Memorial Day has passed, hopefully we will not forget the sacrifices our military service personnel make, and show our gratitude to them whenever and however we can. Those of us who have not served our country in such a tangible way owe a debt of gratitude to those who have made this the land of the free.
Memorial Day weekend is also the unofficial beginning of summer. The summer schedules afford many of us lazier days, and times to relax and enjoy the beaches, lakes, and other recreation. I enjoy the summer, and have no guilt about taking time to enjoy all that the lazy days of summer afford. But while doing so, I also want to spend my time mindfully. One of our freedoms is the opportunity to spend our time as we choose. We should not take this freedom for granted. Perhaps it is important to mention a few of the other freedoms we have.
We have the freedom to choose our elected officials, and our upcoming general election in November provides some clear differences in candidates. Many people state that they are not happy with the choices, but there are choices nonetheless. Some say they will not vote due to their displeasure with both likely candidates for president. That is a choice that can be made, but hopefully most will not select that option. In some other countries people give their lives for the freedom to vote, a freedom some in our country take so lightly. Let’s not fail to exercise our freedom to vote, and to make the best decisions possible from those available.
We also have the freedom to decide how to spend our money. Money is a finite resource, and in some cases, we think there is never enough of it. Yet if we are honest, many of us know that we have more than we need, not just in money, but in possessions. Many people are electing to change the dynamic of consuming more than we need, and following the minimalism philosophy. Minimalism in this context is about changing from a consumption society to a society of relationships and experiences.
The freedom to choose how to live our lives is perhaps our most precious freedom. This is about more than how to spend our time, although how we spend our time directly affects the life we have. And the daily decisions we make put us closer to the life we want to live, or farther from it. Too often we go through our days, weeks, and months not even thinking about this.
We are almost at the midpoint of another year. Many of us made resolutions for this year that we have yet to keep. For some of us, we still have time to do so, but only if we commit differently than we have thus far. Or we can get to the end of 2016 no closer to the life we want to live than we are now.
What do you think? Is the freedom to live the life we choose worth making different choices?