“Look out the window. Tell me what you see. You see the same things that you see everyday. Well, imagine you’ve never seen it. Imagine you spent your whole life in other parts of the world, being told everyday that you’re defending freedom. Then you finally decide you’ve had enough. Time to see what you’ve given up your whole life for, everything. Get some of that “freedom” for yourself. Look at the people. You tell me which ones are free. Free from debt. Anxiety. Stress. Fear. Failure. Indignity. Betrayal. How many wish that they were born knowing what they know now? Ask yourself how many would do things the same way over again, and how many would live their lives like me.”–Jack Reacher
This hit me, in theaters. And not just because Tom Cruise is one of the best action-movie actors around (See Collateral for another great example) but because he had a point. For those of you who don’t know–Jack Reacher is a character created by Lee Child, and he’s an ex-army MP, who basically drifts around living in hotels, and collects his army pension now and then.
Anyway, as I said, he has a point. And I’m not even someone burdened with a wife, three kids, a mortgage, and bills. I’m just a college student, about to graduate. My parents have been encouraging me to go to law school, to “get a job where you can support a family”. I wonder, “Why?” We all know about divorce rates, about how the courts treat husbands. And beside that… I’m old enough to remember when my dad got laid off, and young enough I still have almost no responsibilities yet. I remember the incredible stress on his face, and my mom’s, as they wrote down things to sell to pay the mortgage. And when he got another job, how extremely worried he was about making good impressions, about hoping to get a perm job offer.
Who would rather live that life, than the life of someone who has no boss to answer to, no mortgage to pay, no debt to worry about–in otherwords, a free man?