Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and feed him for a life time. This is a long held notion that the fast fix provision is not the enduring solution. Though we live in a modern society where few actually drag a net through water or sit along the banks of a river with a pole and line the cliché spurns the question, “Is a hand out better than a hand up?” An interesting note is that a dictionary will show provision with a definition for sustenance, but also to mean stipulation, condition and obligation.
Let’s discuss how fast fixes such as being handed a fish can cause us to lose our liberty in contrast to the freedom provided by owning our own provision. Our focus is Dependence, Independence and the Cost of Freedom.
Medical dependence is a false sense of health provided by the fast fix of symptoms through medical intervention. Just as a meal will only suppress our hunger a short time, drugs have a limited period of effectiveness. Procedural correction without lifestyle change is often short lived. This requires the user to return to the pill bottle or surgical table. Emergency room physician Tomas Doyle says, “…at great expense, we deliver…largely unnecessary care. There is tremendous financial pressure on physicians to keep patients happy…Sometimes a doctor needs to show tough love and deny patients the quick fix. A good physician needs to have the guts to stand up to people and tell them that…because they smoke cigarettes….they are alcoholics…what’s really wrong with them is that they are just too damned fat.” (Thomas Doyle, 2008) In the e-book “Reversing Heart Disease Made Simple,” by Kota Reddy, M.D., we read, “We have… created heart disease by eating an unnatural diet.”
Medical independence means not being routinely reliant on medical science. Dr. Reddy claims, “The secret is to sacrifice the Seven S’s that are sugar, starch, saturated fats, salt, smoking, a sedentary lifestyle, and stress.” By seeking to be free of medications and medical procedures we gain independence from the doctor, the pharmacist and the insurance agent.
The cost of freedom from medical dependence is fairly inexpensive and common knowledge, mostly it is diet, exercise and habits. In reality, the cost is mostly time, the time to cook fresh foods, and time for physical activity. Walk is cheap. Pay me now or pay later. Freedom is not free but with regard to health it is the less costly alternative in the long run.
Credit dependence is referenced in ancient Proverbs. From the Old Testament, Proverbs 22 is quite blunt, “…the borrower is slave to the lender…if you lack the means to pay, your very bed will be snatched from under you.” (The Holy Bible, New International Version, 2011) Whatever we purchase on fast fix credit, well, it is not ours until the final payment. Until then the lender owns the merchandise as well as our accumulated payments. If our mortgaged home burns, if our financed car is stolen or wrecked, we still owe. “Slave to the lender.” (The Holy Bible, New International Version, 2011) This is a false sense of financial security witnessed recently in the economies of the world.
Independence from credit would look like being debt free. The money in our wallet is ours. Our home, our car and our big screen are ours. Our time, yes, our time is working for us rather than the lender. If we invest $400 per month for 15 years we can pay cash for a $150,000 home. (What is the average interest rate for mutual funds?, 2012)
The cost of freedom from credit is once again cheaper than the other option. The cost is that we may have to rent for a few years. We may delay the purchase of a new car, or buy used. It may cost us our “image” though we won’t have debt stress and related health issues.
Media dependence is reliance upon sound bite information to make our decisions. The media elite have prepared fast fix facts for us. The intent of the media is to make money through marketing and advertising. Advertising is a large industry with revenues of some $450 billion a year. (Advertising & Branding Industry Overview, 2012) It is about creating an emotional need to eat, to know, to mimic, to do and spend. This is done directly through commercials and indirectly through images, themes and storylines. Really? A recent example is the emotional controversy created by NBC recently in the Martin-Zimmerman case. (NEW YORK (AP), 2012) “Too often we… enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.” (Kennedy, 2012)
Media independence is a matter of throwing out the radio, the TV and the junk mail. Okay, that may be rash. It does start with being aware that information presented for our consumption has been processed, like fast food, to cause addiction which keeps us coming back for more. I copied Dr. Reddy’s idea of Seven S’s but for media consumption, watch for: the Source, the Slant, the Suggestion, the Stereotyping, the Scandal, the Statistics, and the Sex (it sells).
The cost of freedom is again taking the time, time to look, listen and feel. We must play CSI and question the evidence. As a good investigator we should not jump to the obvious conclusion we are guided to. Do we really have a need for more food, cars, make-up or controversy? Seek the truth, it will set us free. The media wants us hooked like a fish.
Political dependence is the game of government. Where once people considered politics a duty and distraction from earning income, politics has evolved to into privilege and career. In order to maintain this status politicians look to leverage emotional issues to get them re-elected. (Sowell, 2009) Exploiting a cause or injustice to make us feel endangered or segregated, these same public servants are ready to enact legislation and regulation. They propose that you and I cannot work through these issues and so government must. No longer do neighbors work together for resolution but we seek intervention.
Political independence is about being aware and inquisitive. We must consider all the information on issues. Is the sky really falling again? Did the king’s men put Humpty together? Is the short term solution to be the long term crisis of the next election cycle? Political intentions often lead to costly consequences.
The cost of freedom is to consider, as economist Thomas Sowell wrote, “…the actual characteristics of the processes set in motion…rather than judging…by their goals.” (Sowell, 2009) We must think through to the next logical result, step by step, until we determine the eventual outcome of any proposed law, mandates or directives. Back to being CSI, “What is the motive?”
Freedom for the masses is a relatively new concept. “Slavery has existed on every inhabited continent and among people of every race for thousands of years…” (Sowell, 2009) Coming to the new world “…indentured servants…contracted…to work a specified number of years for…their passage across the Atlantic…” (Sowell, 2009) This was a quick fix path to America, it was a indebtedness. We often enslave ourselves to feed our desires. Yet, we can choose “…life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” (Declaration of Independence, 1776) The fast fix fails freedom. I challenge you to make a Declaration of Independence from fast fix living; as in the last line of the Declaration of Independence, “…our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor,” (Declaration of Independence, 1776) are depending on it.
Declaration of Independence. (1776, 7 4). Philadelphia, PA, USA.
The Holy Bible, New International Version. (2011). Colorado Springs, CO: Biblica.
What is the average interest rate for mutual funds? (2012, 4 17). Retrieved 4 17, 2012, from Cha Cha: http://www.chacha.com/question/what-is-the-average-interest-rate-for-mutual-funds
Kennedy, J. F. (2012). John F. Kennedy Quotes. Retrieved 4 17, 2012, from BrainyQuote: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/j/john_f_kennedy_5.html
Kota Reddy, M.D. (2009). Reversing Heart Disease Made Simple. Sugar Land, TX: Reddy Cardiac Wellness.
NEW YORK (AP). (2012, 4 7). Source: NBC producer fired over Zimmerman 911 call. Retrieved 4 17, 2012, from USA Today: http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/story/2012-04-07/nbc-zimmerman-call/54098132/1
Sowell, T. (2009). Applied Economics. New York: Basic Books.
Thomas Doyle, M. (2008, 12 9). Treating a Nation of Anxious Wimps. Retrieved 4 16, 2012, from Emergency Physicians Monthly: http://www.epmonthly.com/columns/in-my-opinion/treating-a-nation-of-anxious-wimps/