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Personal Freedom -- Create a Culture of Freedom
March 11, 2019
I have been thinking a lot lately about culture: what the word means, about the culture in our personal lives, and about the culture in our communities. It seems to me that our freedom depends a lot on the culture that we bring into our lives and into the lives of our communities. It’s not something static, a culture of freedom is something that we have to work on consistently for it to have a lasting effect.
The word culture is both a noun and a verb, but each use of the word represents the action we take to make something happen. Whether working the land to encourage the growth of plants, or other labors to encourage the growth of our minds and our communities, we are trying to create an environment that fosters growth and improvement.
I think culture is vitally important to creating and maintaining freedom. For an example of the influence that culture can have, let’s look at culture in food. Cultures of people have developed and grown throughout the ages as people lived in groups. Cultures of food have been around at least as long as groups of people. Cultures of food are things like cheese, sauerkraut, sourdough breads, and drinks like beer, wine, yogurt, and kefir water. These cultured foods are created by hundreds of thousands of microorganisms that occur naturally in our environment. These microbes (bacteria and yeasts, mainly) are encouraged to grow on and in the milk, vegetables, grain, and other foods because their action on the food actually increases the nutrients available to humans. It also lengthens the time before the food spoils and even improves the flavor and texture of the food.
Take milk, for example. Electric refrigeration is only about 100 years old and before it was widely available, fresh milk would spoil after only a few days. Spoilage was caused by micro-organisms that grow on the milk but make people sick when it is consumed. People learned millennia ago that they could control what grew in and on the milk By introducing a specific set of microorganisms, ones they had eaten before and liked, they could encourage the growth of the beneficial microorganisms in the milk, help it to clabber or set, squeeze it and pour off the whey (which is also cultured and beneficial), then age the solids left behind for a flavorful and nutrient rich cheese.
Sauerkraut and sourdough breads are created similarly with the help of these micro-organisms. Cabbage is cut up into shreds and pounded to release its juices. Gluten-containing grains like rye and wheat are ground into meal or flour and a little bit of water is added to the flours. The naturally occurring microbes start to grow over the course of several days and break down the cabbage, creating sauerkraut, and the grains, creating a sourdough “sponge”. In the case of sauerkraut, it just needs to be kept in cool conditions: a basement, root cellar, or refrigerator. Refrigeration isn’t necessary fall-spring in a temperate climate with the right storage. The sourdough is kneaded, allowed to rise, then baked in a hot oven. The sourdough is much more digestible than a handful of raw grains or even flour that is made in to bread and baked in an afternoon. The time that the microbes are given allows them to grow, break down the food, and create rich flavors for us to enjoy.
The amazing thing about cultured foods that scientists are now learning is that our own bodies need these cultures! Not only do they help break down the food we eat, but once inside of us, many of these microbes continue to live and reproduce, making it more difficult for harmful microbes to invade our bodies and make us sick! The cultures that we make part of our lives, that we internalize, help us to be healthy! The cultures we nurture in turn create an environment in us that fosters growth and improvement.These cultures of food that are so beneficial for us take as little as 5 minutes a day to create. So it is with creating a culture of freedom in our lives. Minutes spent here and there in our everyday life can create an environment that fosters growth and improvement in our life, fostering freedom. Finding personal freedom means finding prosperity, self-reliance, our own educational goals being satisfied, and achieving satisfying relationships with others. While the whole website of findingpersonalfreedom.com is about creating a culture of freedom, there are some specific things I want to address about creating that culture in our personal lives and in our families and communities. Please stay tuned and watch for the next posts on those specific topics. In the meantime, you can read other pages on the site to which you feel drawn. Be sure to Take the Challenge at the bottom of each page to really internalize what you read about. Thanks for reading!
p.s. Want to Take the Challenge? Hop over to the website to read more about it. Finding Personal Freedom home page
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