mnmlist: Who or What Owns You?

Who buys and sells you? Image via Steamboat Pilot

Which of the following people or things dictates your actions and choices.  Check all that apply.  Answer honestly.

  1. Your mother
  2. Your father
  3. Your step-mother
  4. Your step-father
  5. Your sibling(s)
  6. Your extended family
  7. Your girlfriend or boyfriend
  8. Your husband or wife
  9. Your ex-girlfriend(s) or ex-boyfriend(s)
  10. Your ex-husband(s) or ex-wife/wives
  11. Your job
  12. Your boss
  13. Your coworkers
  14. Your unemployment
  15. Your friends
  16. Your classmates
  17. Your beliefs
  18. Your God(s)
  19. Your religion
  20. Your priest/imam/rabbi/guru/spiritual-guide
  21. Your rationalism
  22. Richard Dawkins/Christopher Hutchins/Sam Harrison/Daniel Dennett/et al.
  23. Your congregation/sangha/etc.
  24. Your intellectual peers
  25. Strangers on the street
  26. Your need to look good
  27. Your need to sound good
  28. Your need to be cool
  29. Your need to be sexy
  30. Your need for approval
  31. Your need for security
  32. Your need to be important
  33. Your need to be attractive
  34. Your need to be accomplished
  35. Your need to be worldly
  36. Your need to make a difference
  37. Your need to be creative
  38. Your need to express yourself
  39. Your need to be productive
  40. Your need to be spiritual
  41. Your need to be sensible
  42. Your need to be orderly
  43. Your need to be healthy
  44. Your need to be strong
  45. Your need to be smart
  46. Your need to be practical
  47. Your need to be safe
  48. Your need to be comfortable
  49. Your need to be peaceful
  50. Your need to be intoxicated
  51. Your need to be thin
  52. Your need to be informed
  53. Your need to be liked
  54. Your need to be different
  55. Your need to be anonymous
  56. Your need to be righteous
  57. Your need to escape
  58. Your money/wealth
  59. Your poverty/lack of wealth
  60. Your home/living situation
  61. Your lack of a home/living situation
  62. Your home decor
  63. Your car
  64. Your bicycle
  65. Your motorcycle
  66. Your lack of motorized transport
  67. Your phone
    1. iPhone
    2. Android
    3. Other
  68. Your computer (particularly acute for Mac users)
  69. Your iPad
  70. Your Kindle
  71. Your style
  72. Your clothes
    1. Shoes
      1. Sneakers
      2. Designer shoes
    2. Jeans
    3. Handbag
    4. Sunglasses
    5. Eyeglasses
    6. Wristwatch
  73. Your makeup
  74. Your physique
  75. Your taste in music
  76. Your taste in art
  77. Your taste in movies
  78. Your taste in literature
  79. Your degree
  80. The internet
  81. Facebook
  82. Twitter
  83. The NY Times
  84. The New Yorker
  85. Wired
  86. Other media outlets
  87. The government (for or against)
  88. Popular culture
  89. Alternative/indie culture
  90. TV shows
  91. TV networks
  92. Your lack of TV
  93. The environment
  94. Food
  95. Alcohol
  96. Drugs
  97. Your fear
  98. Your anger
  99. Your hope
  100. Your history

Until our one and only answer is “me,” we are are not free.  Our choices are not our own.  We are slaves.

We need not eliminate these things to free ourselves of their bondage.  We simply need to become aware that we lack freedom.  Why should a Verizon iPhone release make anyone happy or unhappy?  C’mon people.

And why should something our parents said to us when we were 8 shape the choices we make today?

In the spirit of moving toward self-possession, here are some things to contemplate:

  1. What do you want to do that you are not doing?
  2. Which of the above 100 things (or something not on the list) is affecting your ability to do or not do what you want to do?
  3. What if you could choose free from that constraint?
  4. Select one tangible thing and exercise a choice not made by the constraints of #2. You might not be able to own your life outright, but every personal choice a like down-payment.

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