I borrowed this title from one of my favorite musicians, The Dear Hunter.
Oh how awesome it is to live in a society where I can get almost anything I want as long as I promise to pay the seller back over time in the future. I can take months to pay off a fancy TV, years to pay off and shiny, brand-new car, and decades to pay for a house before I actually own it, and it seems most of today’s people agree with me on the idea of taking on debt in order to build personal “wealth” for the future. Of course, our wealth is often measured entirely by the amount of money we are worth, but I digress.
I as well as most of the people reading this blog have been tricked at least once in to thinking that taking on debt right now will make us more valuable in the future. I mean, how can we not be? Almost every single person you have ever met (at least in the US) has taken on debt at some point, and for many of those people things seems to have worked out well for them.We all have lived in an environment that allows us to do so because chances are things won’t change much over the next 15 to 30 years. This allows us to be bound to a pool of money that is larger than ours for the extent of our debt, turning us in to slaves to that loan.
In the words of a very wise man: “The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender”
See how we have been tricked? We have been fooled in to believing that it is good, and sometimes necessary to enslave ourselves to another all in the name of “wealth.” We no longer have to contribute something to the world around us before we can get something in return. Instead, we are given something and then asked to do whatever is necessary in order to repay it.
For many of us, that means we will work 40 hours a week (or more) at a job we don’t particularly enjoy but is bearable for now. For others, that means they will work as hard as they can, only to have everything taken away because of an unforeseen change in their financial system.
But as a whole, this mentality has led to a world society where a few get to reap the benefits of living above their means by sucking most of it away from the unfortunate majority. We hold at least part of the responsibility for this situation. We have asked for this material wealth and it has been given to us in all of its slave-educing glory. I believe this road is reaching it’s climax, and what lies on the other side is anyone’s guess.
We could use this bad situation as a learning experience, and look for ways to live our lives without a fascination on debt. Or we could continue down this path borrowing more and more, until we have completely sold ourselves out the the people we rely on. Each and everyone one of us have control over this situation for ourselves, and if enough of us decide to make the first steps towards a life non-reliant on debt, the road will only become clearer.