Although our quest to live the perfect life helps US, is it helping those around us and the planet we apparently care about?
Is our pursuit for “Freedom Culture” helping or hindering us as a species”?
Does it set us free, or are we holding ourselves back?
These are the questions I asked myself, as I sat on a plane 30,000ft above Tulum.
Located on the Caribbean Coast in Mexico, I had heard many great things about this beach town (and saw breathtaking pictures on Instagram). Not only did I hear stories about its beauty and awe, but also around its socially responsible expansion and innovative approach to eco-friendly growth.
As a freedom culture nomad who has no home to call my own, Tulum is the exact sort of place I tend to visit (and have done for some years, now). It’s a haven for hipsters, expats and tourists alike, and surely with our pockets filled with dollars, we’re helping this small piece of paradise thrive.
So why is it I questioned this as I sat on that plane…
Freedom Culture … Does it Create Growth or Decay?
The recent wave of the “10 Year Anniversary” image where you compare your looks between now and a decade ago got me thinking.
Not about how I look, but rather how different the world is today compared to a decade ago in 2009.
Back then there was no:
And the likes of Airbnb, Spotify and Google Chrome were still in its infancy.
Today, these are all daily staples in the lives of so many.
We’re more connected than ever, can travel the world over and create new businesses with few barriers standing in our way.
Yet in some ways we’re more disconnected than ever, experience less diverse cultures while we travel and take advantage of the mass opportunities before us.
Society as we know it expands at an unfathomable rate, yet expansion in one area inevitably forces another to shrink.
Our Freedom Culture allows us to thrive, but at the expense of what?
- The oceans are filling with plastic…
- The land is overrun with crops for animals we intend to butcher…
- The air is full of pollutants and chemicals that we put there…
Our planet's ecosystem is in distress, and as I sat on that plane and looked out to the blanket of cloud below, I considered the impact I had on it all.
The Dilemma of a Freedom Culture Nomad.
I consider myself privileged to have the opportunity to travel and see the world like I do.
Yet I’m plagued by the negative impact I have.
- Each time I step on a plane, I’m part of the problem.
- Each time I consume for the sake of consumption, I’m part of the problem.
- Each time I thrive in one area, I’m part of a problem elsewhere.
We are all part of this problem. It isn’t my fault, nor is it yours.
No single person is the cause of any of this. We are a product of our system, and we only know what we know. But the reality is that our growth as a species is at the expense of others.
As we grow and expand into new reaches, it’s to the detriment of our planet.
This affects us all.
- Since 2016, half the coral in the Great Barrier Reef has died.
- The rate of violent, tropical storms are on the rise.
- The oceans are getting warmer.
- Deforestation is gathering an unprecedented pace.
We can hide our head in the sand and say, “it doesn’t affect me”...
But the truth is it does.
And even if it magically didn’t… does that make it okay?
Do you want your success to come at the expense of so many others?
Even if You’re Helping The World, You’re Hurting it Each Day!
You are not to blame, but you are part of the problem.
No person is to blame, but people are “the” problem.
We are a product of the ecosystem we’ve created, and the only way ecosystems can thrive alongside one another other is if there’s balance. Ours is no longer in alignment with those that surround us, and this has been the case for a long time.
The good news is, ecosystems are resilient and can bounce back.
The bad news is, they only can is if the collective comes together to change.
Today’s generation is a truly innovative one. Our parents and grandparents generations were, too. Just think about everything we, as people, have created over the last 150 years.
Such innovation is fantastic and can create the solutions we need.
In fact many of these solutions already exist...
Yet that same innovation can send us into a dangerous spiral.
While there, I saw projects that support permaculture and alternative construction methods. I saw true eco-warriors take a stand and live and breathe the zero-waste lifestyle and freedom culture.
Yet I also saw trees get cut down, the streets lined with trash and endless cement trucks pass our Airbnb.
Innovation has both a good and bad side, and it’s our generation’s purpose to take a stand for the former.
So… What is it That YOU Can Do?
It’s isn’t fair to expect the human race to settle for survival. We are creatures who wish to thrive, so sustainability goes far beyond merely breaking even.
We won’t stand still.
Individually or as a species… we will not stand still!
We shouldn’t feel bad for taking and consuming; from other people or from the planet.
After all, lions hunt and eat their prey. They do so they can survive, and in time… thrive. No animal only gives back, so it’s unfair to expect the same from us.
Yet that’s the point… animals DO give back.
The Lion plays it’s vital role in the ecosystem which inherently makes it all operate in a healthy way so the circle of life can continue.
In recent years, the human race has forgotten to give back. We have taken and taken and continue to take, and it’s our duty today to break this trend and give back: to each other, the planet… everything.
We can no longer settle for just being an entrepreneur who chooses to build without replenishing the sources from which we extract; we must become a philanthropreneur.
We must not only ensure we enjoy a positive return on investment, but assure our Ripple of Impact exponentially grows so the people (and environment) we serve thrives.
It’s no longer about me or you…
It’s about US!
This is The Real Meaning of Freedom Culture
We want to push the boundaries of what is possible.
We desire to make the impossible... possible!
Such drive empowers innovation, creativity and ingenuity, so we cannot lose this (nor should we stop pursuing the grandest of visions and dreams).
We need to keep encouraging all individuals to spread their unique gifts to the world, but all the while recognize that mother nature is something we must also account for.
It is time to stop looking at the pie as a single size.
Our growth can no longer come at the expense of others.
We must grow the pie; make it bigger.
Don’t just take… GIVE BACK!
This is the true meaning of Freedom Culture as we push onward into tomorrow. This is the story I want to tell as a nomad who travels the world…
My mission is to proliferate freedom culture, unite influencers and share stories that inspire, empowers and educates. The freedom culture movement expands each day, so if this article has spoken to you is may be one you wish to join.