Freedom is the gateway to individual and community progress. The liberty to choose what we will do with out lives gives us the opportunity to make agreements and contracts with others. This is the essence of free enterprise where people agree to produce, buy, and sell. It is also the essence of social connections where we create friendships, associations, and sign contracts like marriage. We enter into contracts in order to leverage that connection. This applies to an agreement on a price between seller and buyer and to international treaties. We do similar contracts with people we love because it promises a win win leverage for both. I call this “loverage”. The insight in this post is simply that “loverage” is a path to increased freedom and its power.
The interesting thing here is that these economic and social combinations create a higher level of power. We see this in the formation of a new family or a new business. And we create them because we want to enjoy the benefits they can bring. We don’t usually think of these as being new, more effective capabilities but they are there. If they weren’t, we wouldn’t bother. The point is that they create opportunities to build still higher forms of civilization, freedoms, and powers. In fact, this is a description of the progress of civilization and that applies at the family, national, and world levels. This is economic and social leverage in action.
Notice that these are all the product of agreements, contracts, and covenants. The voluntary restriction of our freedom is a key to greater freedom and power. An agreement is always a promise to live our lives in a certain way. Self-discipline has always been the key to power.
Business and Love
There are parallels between business and love. When we start a new business or a new friendship, we take risks. Our efforts, our investments emotional and financial could produce more trouble than they are worth. That is the price of freedom – it has risks. Slavery can be a very secure form of life, but there is little joy in it, even if all danger is removed. Being safe is not the same as being happy.
Freedom of Choice is Key
There is a correlation between rights and happiness. When we use our rights, our freedom, to create a business, we can experience the joy of success. That is joy that could not be had without incurring the risks beforehand. It is the interest on the investment we made when we created the enterprise. That work used our rights to think, plan, speak, move, buy, and sell, and was in summary, the investments we made in the startup.
The highest human right is the right to choose a carefully reasoned path. That is the one that most separates us from the animals. They do choose but they lack the fully developed ability to sacrifice now for better things in the future. Therefore their investments are very limited and hence their progress is slow. Humans can choose to restrain and direct their actions so as to provide a better future.
Choice is the fulcrum of the leverage we apply while building anything.
Love is the Highest Choice
Freedom of choice is the highest right, and the highest choice is to love.
To love is to risk your heart, your very essence. It is the voluntary tendering of an offer to form a new association, a new contract, a new covenant with another. To reach out with love is to invest our heart and soul. It is the extension of an invitation to build a new relationship and empower it. When this kind of investment “pays off”, we have the joy that only love provides. To love and to be loved in return is the ultimate human experience. There is no greater joy.
To choose to emotionally invest by reaching out to someone with love in our hearts, is the highest form of human risk taking precisely because it has the capacity of producing the greatest joy. The choice to take the risk of love is the fulcrum of the leverage we apply while building relationships.
I call this “loverage”.
It is the key to eternal joy. It is the key because love is the strongest force in the universe. Hate is terribly strong but love is stronger because hate is simply perverted love.