It’s a typical Tuesday evening. I’m making my way through a bustling supermarket aisle, and while my attention should be on the dwindling milk supply at home or remembering to pick up those organic tomatoes, I find my thoughts wandering somewhere else entirely.
A snippet of a conversation reaches my ears — two individuals discussing the mortgage rates, car loans, and those pesky credit card bills that seem to multiply like rabbits. They speak of their debts like one might speak of the weather; a mere fact of life, an uncontested reality.
It got me thinking. When did debt become the norm? When did owing become synonymous with living? And if that’s the norm, then I’ve decided: I want to be different.
I recall the years when the weight of debt hung over my family like a persistent storm cloud. The whispered conversations between my parents late into the night, the hushed anxieties masked behind bright smiles during the day. Debts were shackles that seemed to dictate every decision and overshadow every joyful moment.
Now, don’t get me wrong. There’s a certain kind of debt, like a mortgage or an educational loan, which can be seen as an investment. But it’s the unchecked, spontaneous, and often impulsive kind I’m talking about. The kind where we splurge today, promising ourselves we’ll figure it out tomorrow. The kind that promises immediate gratification but forgets to mention the long-term entrapment.
The world around us appears to scream a single mantra: ‘Buy now, pay later!’ The allure of the glossy credit card, the exclusive memberships, the VIP lounges – they’re dangled in front of our eyes like a mesmerizing dance of fireflies. But what cost does this ‘normal’ come at?
I’ve seen dear friends, their youthful exuberance dimmed, working jobs they despise to pay off debts accumulated in pursuit of a life depicted as glamorous by our modern culture. I’ve seen relationships strained and dreams deferred because of the binding chains of financial obligations.
So, I started on a journey – a different kind of journey. One that took me further away from debt and closer to freedom. Instead of the swanky latest model of that car, I settled for one that was older but reliable. Instead of dining at upscale restaurants every weekend, I rediscovered the joy of cooking with family. Instead of chasing every latest trend, I found peace in the timeless and the classic.
By making these choices, I wasn’t depriving myself. I was reclaiming my freedom — the freedom to make choices based on love, passion, and purpose, not pressure. The freedom to sleep peacefully at night, knowing I owe nothing to anyone. The freedom to chart my course, unburdened by the weight of societal expectations.
Today, I urge you: If living with debt is the norm, dare to be different. Dare to dream of a life unencumbered by the trappings of debts and unchecked desires. Dare to live on your terms, with the authenticity and integrity of purpose.
For in that difference, in that brave choice to swim upstream, you might just find a life richer in experience, deeper in connection, and infinitely more fulfilling than any material possession could offer.
Isn’t it about time we redefine what ‘normal’ really is? Because if normal means being chained, then, my dear friend, I wholeheartedly wish for you the joyous abnormality of freedom.
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