So far outside the box you can't even see the box from here.
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Wednesday, May 25, 2016
Life and the Great Firewall of China
Life is like the great firewall of China. Huh? Let me explain.
The great firewall of China is China's version of the Internet. The Chinese don't have access to the full and unregulated parts of the Internet. They get the parts that the Chinese authorities allow them to see. There are also government approved versions of popular web sites. Just like the regular Internet, the Chinese version is really big. There are nearly limitless choices, but only choices approved by the government.
Growing up in “free” western nations we are taught that we have freedom of choice. We do, but just like the great firewall, those choices tend to steer a person down certain paths. Personally, for me the worse example of this guided path problem was my high school guidance councilor. If your grades were good enough they pushed you towards the state 4 year college. “B” students and those with few financial means were aimed towards the local community college. The others basically got encouraged to apply to the local mills.
Every socioeconomic class has its expected paths. For example, if you are upper middle class you may have to choose between becoming a doctor or a lawyer. Lower class may have to choose between factory work or service jobs. Some small movement is allowed between the different class paths. A factory worker's son, if intelligent and hard working may become a doctor. However, don't ever tell those of your social class that you aspire to do the job of a lower class person.
Worse than that however is to choose a path that's truly different than anyone else's. Those poor kids in high school almost never learn that it's even possible to do something no else is doing. No wonder so many kids feel trapped by life. The only freedom they know is the the freedom to choose one of the approved paths.
There is a word for those who stray away from the approved paths and go out on their own: failures. All that means is that they've failed to follow societal expectations. If they themselves are happy with their decisions then they are a success.
Freedom only comes to those who know they are not free. Too often our choices revolve around how we want to decorate our prison cell. Just like those stuck behind the great firewall, we don't know there's more stuff out there.
I live in an area of NH known as the Great North Woods. I'm in my dome-i-cile out in the county with my lovely wife and a varying number of family and friends
-part red neck, part hippie but all country. Experimenting and enjoying the adventure of life.