When I was a little boy, one experience in life scarred me deeply. When I started school, my parents enrolled me in an expensive private school. I had all the challenges of childhood, such as trying to fit in, but mostly my childhood was innocent and beautiful. Looking back, I enjoyed school camp and I enjoyed the many excursions we took.
However, everything came crashing down when my parents faced financial difficulties. A business they were running was falling into hard times, so suddenly we turned from rich to poor and rather than going to a school that charged $30,000 per year, I was told I’d be moved to a school that charged $6,000 per year.
I protested at first, saying I had made friends at the old school. I had gotten used to life at my school and felt like I belonged there. It was my community. I was very unhappy. I was crying, screaming, and basically carrying on like a child.
It wasn’t until my big sister stepped in that I began to calm down. She told me stories about how difficult things were for my parents. They were working very hard just to put food on the table and I was carrying on like an entitled brat. It was at this point that I started to feel pity for my parents and realized that they were victims like I was. My parents were not invincible. They were not to blame.
I remember when my sister was speaking to me. I was crying because going to a new school was scary. But my sister told me everything would work out fine because I would make new friends. I had hope in what she said, but little did I realize I would be deeply disappointed. I don’t blame my sister. She was just trying to make me feel better. It’s like lying to children about Santa Clause.
I quickly learned that I was fed a lie when things turned rough at my new school. The kids there were just not very friendly and I had a hard time making friends. I missed my old friends so much but because I didn’t go to the same school as them, when I tried to spend time with them on weekends it felt awkward, so we drifted apart.
I became anti-social and I became a loner. I was also bullied at school. I didn’t say a word to my parents or to my sister, and I don’t think they cared at all. They were engrossed by their own financial problems.
In a way, this hardship I face taught me many lessons. I learned that you cannot rely on anyone to help you. You must help yourself. Everyone is out for themselves.
I also learned that you must control money otherwise money will control you.
If you don’t make enough money to be able to get what you want, money will force you to face circumstances you do not want.
I believe my experiences growing up made me desperate from an early age to be financially independent. It is what pushed me in the direction to become a freedom extremist. It allowed me to experience and see the power that money has to enslave us. I watched my parents become completely enslaved by money. They worked long hours to not only raise children but to also pay off debts.
Then I watched my parents separate and divorce. My father was cheating on my mother.
Everything came crashing down. Too much debt, too much obligation, too much trust in others.
From all this I have learned to be self-reliant, to help myself rather than rely on others. I have learned to stay away from debt and obligation, to be a proud commitment phobe rather than accept the mainstream view that it is a psychological disorder. The word “commitment” is emotive and sounds beautiful, but when a husband you’ve been fully committed and loyal to suddenly cheats on you with a younger girl, you quickly realize the true value of commitment phobia.
I don’t want to be dependent on anyone. I don’t want to be dependent on my parents, my government, my spouse, and especially not my employer.
My parents worked because they had to. They hated their jobs but they were forced because they conformed to the consumerist idea that they had to buy a house, get married, have children, and drive a nice car. They thought they were reaching for their dreams when in reality they were enslaved by their delusions.
If you have no debt, no obligations, and no commitment to anything, and if you have sufficient passive income, then you don’t need to work. You don’t need to do anything, which means you are free to do anything you want.