A Life of Maximal Personal Independence

Selfie

Why have philosophers always recommended a life of maximal frugality and economy? Not frugality for the sake of frugality, but a life of the maximal personal independence.

Don’t be frugal to virtue flex

This is what I realized —

We have been taught ever since we were kids that to be prodigal, wasteful with money, and uneconomical is a sin/vice (Bible, Parable of the Prodigal Som). Therefore the proper road to virtue was frugality, economics, saving, and prudence (Benjamin Franklin).

But this has always been weird to me—

To be “economical” is different in everyone’s eyes. What seems like a good “investment” is seen as a “waste of money” by another.

Therefore, who deems what is “economical” and who deems what is “wasteful”?

Why maximal independence?

Anyways, it seems that “poverty” or “extreme frugality/scrappiness” has been a road for many philosophers, poets, artists, and photographers to gain maximal independence in their lives (like Josef Koudelka).

But is it possible to live a life of maximal personal independence WITHOUT living an economical and frugal life? Yes and no.

Yes: if your expenses or what you buy/desire doesn’t reduce your personal freedom in life.

No: if your expenses and lifestyle cause you to become a prisoner to your job (if you don’t like it). For example, if your taste in expensive cars or stuff causes you to keep grinding away at a (well paid job) you hate, then your lifestyle is fucking with your personal independence in life.

What is your intended aim in life?

Laptop desk sitting

Now this is where things get interesting:

What is truly your ideal or optimal end-game in life?

Assuming you got quadrillions of dollars in the bank, the uber-luxury house or penthouse apartment, the Rolls-Royce/Lambo/Tesla/McLaren, all the newest Apple stuff, all the Leica and Digital Medium Format gear — then what?

You steer!

Cindy providence
Providence, 2020 #cindyproject

Then this is for you to decide — how to live your life. Remember, life is about action. Life is about risk. Life is about doing epic shit. Life is about taking grand risks which test your personal courage, toward ends which you personally care for or are interested in.

It’s your life — you steer!
ERIC

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By ERIC KIM

Artist-Philosopher