In the original thread by a similar name Mr. B and Mr. Z chose to âcorrectâ Mr. Obser for stating his opinion that we are entitled to live free of bureaucratic interference (or as free as possible under the existing conditions) and for stating that he does not feel compelled to follow all bureaucratic procedures and policies. Here is my response to the gentlemen and others who share their thinking. You are certainly entitled to consider yourself to be âmind-numbed sheep and slaves to the Govtâ if you wish. You are equally entitled to doubt that anyone can live in relative freedom and to conclude that anyone who appears to do so is obviously lying. It would be even more convincing and impressive if you discussed the merit of ideas and did not take discussion into the personal realm as you have done with this topic. I realize that expressing ideas that are different from ânormalâ or âmainstreamâ meets with disapproval of those who are uncomfortable with anything that might âmake them look badâ or embarrass them or frighten them with change â or worst of all, to cause them to question their position. However, I am not interested in their limitations and am not willing to live by their rules. Striving to maintain as large a measure of personal freedom as possible is evidently a foreign concept to those who value conformity and who are who are invested in the status quo. They obviously cannot comprehend Obser living for a quarter century free from the need to follow the dictates of others with no obligation to conform to the wishes of a boss, family members or standard thinking members of society; free from the requirement to live in any one place; free to see new places and meet interesting people, free to do whatever he desires constrained only by integrity, ethics and personal ability. Yes he does âbow to authorityâ by having a driverâs license and a social security card. Does that make him a hypocrite with double standards? Is his freedom just a delusion â even though he does go where he wants, lives as he chooses and answers to no one other than his wife? Mr. Obser is not proclaiming absolute freedom. It would be extremely simplistic thinking for an individual to demand that anyone who supports freedom demonstrate absolute freedom. (Notice Mr. Z, that the thinking is identified as simplistic not the person -- as such it is not intended as personally insulting. However, a person might earn the designation of simplistic for themselves by consistent demonstration of simplistic thinking.) Your reaction is very similar to that of fellow construction workers during my youth who said, âSlow down kid, youâre making us look badâ or later my fellow college students who said, âThat SOB is ruining the curve.â In both cases the complainers were playing competition games in their mind (and losing) when they might have been well advised to use their time and energy more constructively. The self-appointed âequalizersâ want everyone to be equal without any need for them to put in the effort necessary to raise their own standards. Their method to âdraw even withâ is to attempt to discourage others from being âdifferentâ or to âtake them down a peg or twoâ. That tactic didnât work with me then and it is even less successful now. My wife and I realize that our present lifestyle cannot go on forever (âThis too shall pass awayâ); however, we thoroughly enjoy every day that we can live together in freedom, doing what we wish to do, living as we decide. We intend to continue to do so as long as possible. (We actually live exactly that way and have for many years â this is not hyperbole or imagination or conjecture for us). Not everyone can understand or accept the idea of personal freedom. Many are frightened by the idea because it includes making oneâs own decisions (and being fully responsible for every one with no excuses), structuring oneâs own life, or being different and encountering social disapproval. Many also fear or resist change and are most comfortable within the status quo, the familiar, traditional values, and their own turf. We do not criticize or demean those who prefer a more structured life with more clearly defined roles, expectations and obligations (i.e., social structure). Their life is their business. We do not expect them to understand our ideas or our lifestyle. We do not seek their approval. There are a few people who understand the concept of personal freedom and who live the lifestyle as much as possible. We value many of those people as friends â some are members of this forum. We do not tend to choose our friends from among traditionalists, fundamentalists, obsessionists of any ilk, or the determinedly ignorant. Please notice that I am not recommending anything to anyone, not selling anything, and not criticizing any personâs individual lifestyle. However, if you detect a lack of admiration or respect for traditional thinking, standard ideas, and standard answers you are absolutely correct. Notice that includes lack of respect for thoughts and ideas â and is not personalized toward any individual (evidently an impossible distinction for some to comprehend). If these ideas are familiar and comfortable to you it is likely that you understand and enjoy individual freedom. I would like to hear from you either in this thread, in PM or by email to Obser1 (at) gmail.com because we probably share interests and values. If anyone feels insulted or affronted by being âcategorizedâ and wishes to confront and reprimand the culprit, look in the mirror (you made the assignment). If irreverence toward commonly accepted ideas and values meets with your disapproval, please feel free to use the âignoreâ function of the forum.