Freedom and Commerce:
Freedom is my drug—and I mainline it. Life is filled with choices and I like to think I always come down on the side of freedom, freedom and more freedom.
Of course, with freedom comes responsibility. Yes, freedom has a high cost. Freedom costs money. Freedom takes energy. And blood. And sweat. And tears.
But it is worth it… at least to us hardcore addicts.
To put it another way: I’ve consciously constructed my life for the maximum amount of personal freedom. I aspire to be the free-est human being on this watery planet.
I want to be beyond nationalism, regionalism, and capitalism… beyond the petty tyranny of religion… I mean, what is extreme patriotism but cultural egotism run amok?
But—getting back to the, ahem, the money thing—the first requirement to be free is to be independent of others for your daily needs. This is a basic truth. If you beg at a person’s table for their crust of bread, they have (and deserve) power and influence over you.
So begging is out.
…trusting to karma is nice… but not effective.
You have to learn to earn your own way in this world—or you are, ultimately, ‘somebody’s boy.’
I am no one’s boy.
Thus, since the age of 15, I’ve supported myself by my wits.
Weird story: in 1989 I lost everything in Hurricane Hugo... but the damp shirt on my back. A smiling FEMA agent showed up and said, “…sign this and we’ll give you a free $12,000 grant, an almost interest-free loan for $120,000 and a bunch of other stuff.
They offered again.
I declined more firmly.
Then they came down with a guy to talk me into it… and that guy turned out to be a ‘disaster counselor’ to help me deal with all the stress?!?.
It dawned on me my government was starting to consider me a tad crazy for NOT taking a governmental hand-out… that refusing a hand-out was now somehow becoming… kinda unamerica!?! (How screwed up is that, eh?)
“Enough!” I said. “Sure, I pay taxes. And, yeah, I’m glad such organizations exist as FEMA… to give people the help they need after a disaster. But I don’t need help. I don’t want help. I refuse help…”
I tell this story not to brag but because it is at the very core of me.
I take freedom. I demand freedom. I deserve freedom. Freedom is my natural, organic, constitutionally-protected right. And I can not be truly free if I’ve got my greedy hand in Uncle Sammy’s bulging pocket.
The bottom line: a person who desires a life of freedom must independently support themselves from the sweat of their own brow.
Of course, I’ve almost always lived abroad aboard a small sailboat. And, with freedom as my overriding God, my profession choices could be considered to be limited. However, I take the opposite view: being a live-aboard sailor FORCES me to be more hardworking and creative and entrepreneurial than my shoreside counterparts.
The care-free life of an offshore sea gypsy is a very active one. The last thing you want to do if you’re broke and lazy… is to attempt to sail around the world… working as you go.
So I’ve tailored my professional life to suit my quest for freedom AND my love of offshore sailing.
Thus I’m a writer, a musician, a broadcaster and a story-teller.
The common element: freedom… freedom to work how, when and where I chose.
Yes, being free really does require ‘eternal vigilance.’
It is easy to get into a professional rut—to confuse activity with accomplishment.
…so I try to stay focused on the real priority: the daily quality of our sea-going lives.
I want each element of my professional life to ADD to my freedom AND to contribute to my income.
Thus, this web page. (You thought I’d never get to the point, didn’t you?)
One more thing: SANUK. It is a Thai word which roughly translates to ‘fun.’ But it is far more complex and sophisticated than that. It is the concept that everything in life has an element of joy... if you just take the time and trouble to ‘…find the sanuk’ of it.
I have found this to be true.
I believe that all the happiness I’ll ever have… or ever need… is inside me this very moment. That happiness isn’t something we find or get or buy or travel to… but the light, soft-focused feeling we have when we’re not ‘vexed’ by modern, out-of-wack shorelife.
…there is no path to happiness because happiness IS the path.
Thus I wish you well—and continued sanuk.
This entire web page (except where noted) is copyrighted by Cap'n Fatty Goodlande