CHAPTER 1 – TWINKLE, TWINKLE…
Always have been… always will be.
I am also an optimist – although not unwavering. Enthusiastic eternally optimistic optimists bug the shit out of me – I need time to lament every day. If I didn’t, I would be a fool – that is when some of my best work is accomplished. I need a balance between being social and alone with my thoughts.
Admittedly, I tend to wear my heart on my sleeve. Such is evidenced by my telling you just now.
I know that many opportunists and connivers have and will see this quality as a sign of an easily manipulated or weak-minded man. And truthfully, I have been taken advantage of and allowed myself to be emotionally and mentally abused a few times in the past.
Said occasions were learning processes.
I am not the same person as I was the last time that I was exploited. I am grounded – I know who I am, and I am okay with it. I have moral clarity. I am self-aware and no longer afraid to stand my ground when it counts. Basically, I have no time for bullshit or head games.
As per my nature, however, I prefer to remain non-confrontational. In my younger years, I lacked confidence and sought self-worth through the eyes of others. I allowed myself to be manipulated and exploited by those who I looked up to. I now feel little-to-nothing for them.
Now, I tend to distance myself from apathetic irrationality and close-minded egocentrics, rather than engage in meaningless banter. Simultaneously, I do not like to leave disagreements unresolved.
While I am a work in progress, I have finally begun to define what freedom means to me.
I apologize for the clichés; however, this is the best way to describe my situation: while many like to keep an ace up their sleeve – I am not afraid to put all my cards on the table. So, if you feel the need to take advantage, then have at it – or at least give it a shot. If you only want to play games and spread fear, please turn your attention to the next writer’s work.
Just do not hurt my family or friends…
It may be my pie in the sky idealistic way of thinking, but I believe that one person can change the world. And not always for the betterment of mankind. Most recently, we have witnessed it throughout the Trump administration in the USA. Love him or hate him – Donald J. Trump altered the way the U.S. is regarded by its own citizens and officials, and by the citizens and officials of other countries.
The topic of this discussion in this book – Freedom – has been globally questioned and challenged an endless number of times over the last few years. Ironically, the concept has been challenged the most by citizens of countries that are deemed “free.”
I am not much of an applied or hands-on thinker – I tend to lean to the theoretical and philosophical. Ideally my contribution would be for the betterment of humankind. Something that would create a cultural – or even global paradigm shift.
It is my fear that whatever I discover along my path will be misappropriated and used for “evil,” or to bring harm to others. Although, I am not naïve – I realize that such is the nature of humankind. My dilemma is that I care how my thoughts and ideas are or will be used – or misused.
I guess we will have to wait and see what happens…
As I mentioned earlier – I am an optimist, but not a fool.
Regardless, I must continue to create…
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The following is a true story…
I wrote the framework and began filling out the details of this “creation,” all the while having a surge of epiphanies – all completely on my own and without any external influences. It was not until after I had written out my thoughts and reached my conclusions that I did some research and discovered that other philosophers had already put some thought into this concept – the philosophy of Absolute Freedom. The conclusion was that Absolute Freedom cannot exist.
This is not the first time this has happened to me. Thirty years ago, I thought that I had discovered a philosophical thought known as solipsism. My generalized philosophy was that nothing existed until I experienced it. It wasn’t until I started dating the woman who one day became my wife that I learned that this concept was not original, and that it had the name solipsism.
There are several other thoughts and philosophies that I have generated and entertained. They are spread throughout my writings. It has not, is not, and never will be my intent to recruit followers – I only wish to challenge others and be challenged by others.
It was enchanting that I had created some of these philosophies; and it was a little disappointing to learn that many of these ideas had already been established. But I still thought that it was pretty cool that I had independently come up with theories that some of the greatest philosophical minds had.
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I do kindness, compassion, and logic.
Those are my “Big three.” I express a lot of it in my words and my writing. I love to listen and learn from others – everyone has a story to tell, and they all deserve to share it and be listened to.
I like to brag that I am a quite humble, mild-mannered, and generally goofy, silly man. I know that the latter has pissed off a few people. I could never fully understand why. I think that humor is an important part of life.
I will admit I have been accused of being cocky a time or two, and attempts were made to put me in my place but quick. However, only I can alter my ideas and thoughts. I believe there is a subtle blur between being confident and cocky.
The way I look at it is – if you disagree with me – great! I love it! Let’s talk. Let’s collaborate. And if you despise me – you either don’t get me and what I am trying to accomplish, or else you are overcome with your own issues. As I said earlier – if you disagree with some of my thoughts and opinions, please feel free to move on to the next writer.
I aim to be amongst the greatest – not for fame and fortune – but to share my thoughts and hopefully inspire others to tap into their selves and spread a positive vibe throughout the world. I am not foolish enough to believe this will happen, but I do believe that I have the gift to make people stop and think – and that is the first step to becoming successful.
As with most of us, I try to learn and improve myself every day – we are all a work in progress.
And let me be clear, you do not have to be a brilliant scholarly success in any way to be gifted or a genius. I think that we should all be able to say that we are exceptionally good at what we do – whether we flip burgers for eight hours every day, or we are the head of leading-edge scientific research team. I was raised to believe that it didn’t matter what I chose to do with my life, as long as I was happy. That is my hope for you…
I feel obliged at this point to say that having epiphanies and the ability to convey these thoughts through writing is not just a gift or blessing – it could also be a curse – if I let it. For every person who is open and willing to entertain themselves with my banter, there is someone hell-bent on disproving – possibly even destroying me. I do not like negative attention or close-mindedness – it is the exact opposite of what I am trying to accomplish. But as per Newton – each action has an equal and opposite reaction. Therefore, this is the price I may have to pay to be heard.
However, a fine line is drawn when beliefs become stagnantly personal. Or worse…
Me? I learn and think. I sleep and I write. Although I do take personal time, I find that my thoughts can carry me away and I lose focus on the task at hand.
Such is the nature of my existence at this point in my life.
And I must say, I am loving it!
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So now that you know a little bit more about me, you may be wondering, “Why should I spend the next X-number of hours reading this?”
I have no answer for you – yet I will address the question…
First, I hope my words captivate and entertain you. The last thing I want is to disappoint you. If you have made it this far, something I have said has stuck.
Next is the very basic concept of this work – Freedom.
Freedom is a really big fucking deal! It is a part of life and affects every single person in the world. It affects each of us in ruthlessly different ways. There are as many definitions of freedom as there are people living in the world right now.
Freedom is more than a mere concept. It is much, much, much more…
But I’m not going to get into it right now. I let you sniff the tantalizing scent and now I’m going to make you wait.
My promise to you is that I will leave you with something to think about. And maybe even better – give you something to discuss with others. I mean really discuss – not just yap your beliefs at whoever happens to be in earshot of you – but be thoughtful, speak with sincerity, and actively listen.
Understand one another.
Learn to respect other viewpoints.
Collaborate and learn to take steps that will build a peaceful world. As I said, I am an optimist…but I’m also realistic…
 PAULO COELHO