I am currently writing this blog post in a hotel in Sydney far away from my home in ONC (Our Nation's Capital). It is the last weekend before the end of school holidays, so my children and I thought we'd come up to our nation's largest city and have some fun.
I love Sydney. I enjoy many of the things this city has to offer. I even enjoy the hustle and bustle! I have come here often for work and for pleasure and some pivotal moments of my life have happened here.
One of those moments was a talk I attended during the Festival of Dangerous Ideas at the Sydney Opera House in 2009. That talk was presented by Germaine Greer on "Freedom".
Freedom, I believe, is a deeply personal state. *My* state of freedom would be different to others who may seemingly occupy that same state. I believe its because freedom is the ability to act in accordance to one's own values. Ergo, this means that oppression is (according to GG) when one is compelled to act in accordance with a set of values that is not their own.
If freedom is a deeply personal state, and if we are to operate as a "free society" then freedom is something that needs to be negotiated and redefined at all levels. Perhaps a key part of that negotiation and redefinition is to respect all people's values and not use fear to compel them to act in ways that do not fit into their value system.
That talk was huge for me because its when I believe I started to ask deeper questions regarding consumerism.
Are the companies who produce, and governments who ensure that there are goods for us to buy respect our values? Or do they try to instil fear and anxiety to compel us to buy what we do not want?
Is consumerism a form of social control?
Am I (and my community) living in accordance to my (and our) values?
Anyway, lots of deep thoughts for me at the moment, so I thought I'd leave you with this image I found in flickr:
"Freedom is a Toilet Tissue" Photo by Russell Higgs <-- click to read Russell's story about this photo.
I wish you all a good weekend!