I know how to keep you from speaking up for yourself. I know how to keep you from living your true calling. I know how to convince you that what everyone else is doing is the right thing and to stop considering stepping out of line. I know how to keep you at so much less than your true potential. I know how to do all of this and more. The worst part is, I know how to make you volunteer for it!
But first, a step back into history.
Jamestown Virginia, year 1619. The very first slaves step onto American soil to aid in the production of lucrative crops like tobacco. For 246 years (1619-1865), African men and women were bought and sold as slaves, and freedom was out of the question. Human beings were being treated like farm animals, taken from a life of freedom and sold into servitude.
“That’s wrong!” You might say, and I’d agree with you, but there is more to this story. You see, history always repeats itself, we must only take the time to learn.
Let’s keep doing just that…
As I dug deeper into the time period and further into the embarrassing past of slavery I couldn’t help but ask, “If nearly 6-7 million slaves were brought to the new world during that time, and most being some of the strongest men and women in Africa, how did slavery last so long?”
“Were these people from Africa just willing to serve a master forever?”
“Didn’t they want to be free, to go where they want, do what they want for work, own property, start businesses, families, churches. Didn’t they want that stuff?”
“How could someone convince another man that they must serve them?”
The answers I found were alarming, but honestly, a little empowering. I had found the answers to freedom in our current life by studying what kept those people slaves many years ago.
“Slave owners sought to make their slaves completely dependent on them and a system of restrictive codes governed life among slaves.” – History Channel.
Slave owners knew that in order to keep slaves working for them and not questioning their predicament, they had to keep them busy and dumb. They found that the difference between slavery and independence was in the minds of the slaves, they guarded the slaves minds with fierce determination and great consequences.
An act passed by the General Assembly of the State of North Carolina at the session of 1830-1831 (Raleigh 1831) states this…
“Whereas the teaching of salves to read read and write, has the tendency to excite dissatisfaction in their minds, and to produce insurrection and rebellion to manifest injury of this State.”
That fancy English a little too much? I had to look some of the words up, so here is what that means for you and I today.
“Teaching slaves to read and write will make them very upset. They will learn the injustice of their situation and likely begin thinking for themselves.
They will determine that they aren’t fit for a lifetime of serving another mans dreams, doing another mans dirty work and that they have a God given right to freedom just the same as the slave owners do.
Through reading, they will begin to understand that they have greatness inside of them. They are humans after all, and the human brain is the most powerful force in the world.
After learning that they are being kept to serve other men and women, they may decide to violently oppose the government and authority causing great harm to the people keeping them as slaves.
Thus, it would not be a good idea to teach them to read and write.”
Just in case you don’t believe that teaching slaves to read and write was a big deal, here are some consequences written in that same Act.
If a white person was found teaching a slave to read they were either imprisoned or fined 100-200$ ($2,631.58-$5,263.16 in 2015 dollars)
If a free colored person was found teaching slaves they were either fined, put in prison, and or whipped.
Imagine this, you teach your friend to read this blog article, to help them start thinking for themselves so they can begin living like a true original. If you’re caught, you may be put in jail, fined over $5,000 dollars and depending on the color of your skin, whipped.
So what can we learn from history? What can the story of the slaves teach us about our current reality?
Oh nothing much, only the difference between a slave and a free man or woman.
Yeah, it’s significant.
“The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read.” -Mark Twain.
Mr. Twain said it flawlessly. If you do not read, you are no more prepared to be a free man or woman than a slave was who could not read.
Harsh? Yes. When I heard that for the first time it was like a punch in the gut, so it’s only fair that you get the same feeling.
Just joking! Calm down.
But really, let’s look at the facts.
VIEWER DISCRETION ADVISED.
The truth in this next section may be difficult for weak minds to view, viewer discretion is advised.
Have I ever told you I can be a little dramatic?
In the United States we are free right? There are no real slaves today right?
That firstly depends on what a slave was.
Slave Definition- A person who is the legal property of another and is forced to obey them.
Welp, that’s not me! No need to read any further!
Hold on one second there, buster!
Ok, maybe it’s not you. But answer this.
Does reading really control your results in life?
If it didn’t, why was it punishable by law to teach a slave to read?
Do you know anyone who absolutely must go work for someone else and if they decided they were not going to they could actually be in significant legal trouble? Do you know anyone who would have their homes taken from them, maybe their cars. Maybe their children?
“That’s unjust! You can’t take my home! You’ll never take my car! You certainly won’t take my kids!
How can you say that?
Because I’ll continue going to work and I’ll work so hard to pay the creditors that you’ll have no reason to take any of that.”
Do you know anyone who may be forced to serve another man or woman for the rest of their life?
I’m about to say something that might offend you, however, it’s not meant to.
Just like in the time of slavery, powerful people are attempting to make you completely dependent on them. Don’t believe me? Then explain why just as the slaves were kept busy and dumb, most of the people you and I know are overworked, yet still in massive amounts of debt (servitude to creditors) and turn to entertaining themselves to dull the pain of their realities instead of seeking the knowledge required to change their circumstances.
Busy, and dumb is the recipe for slavery and it’s what is going on in America today.
So back to a previous question.
How does a man convince another man that that is the right way?
“Everyone else is doing it.”
So people volunteer for it. People volunteer to work everyday for their debt, as long as they can keep entertaining themselves. They get in line for it!
Phew! Good thing we’re not those people! We have no debt, therefore no master, and we can do whatever we want! We can rebel against the boss if he/she starts treating us badly. We can leave work today and live on savings for the rest of the year until we start our own business or choose a better job of our choice.
Ok, maybe not…
So now what?
“According to a study conducted in late April by the U.S. Department of Education and the National Institute of Literacy, 32 million adults in the U.S. can’t read. That’s 14 percent of the population. 21 percent of adults in the U.S. read below a 5th grade level, and 19 percent of high school graduates can’t read.”
Any wonder why we may have a little less freedom than we deserve?
It’s pointless to only focus on the negative. So let’s move on.
Why look back into history and see a lesson and not take that lesson and learn from it? We now know that the path to true freedom and originality is first in our minds. Freedom in all areas of our lives, family, relationships, money, time, recreation, all comes from knowledge. So how can we get on the path to getting ourselves free again?
What Oliver Demille calls a “Self Directed Education”.
Or basically an education you give yourself based on the direction you have set for yourself.
“What do I need to know? Who knows that? What do they read, or what have they written. Read it. Live it.”
But I went to college!!!
HOW’S THAT WORKING FOR YOU?!
The point of a self directed education is that the only agenda being pushed on you is your own. Your ideal lifestyle.
You’ve got to read the right things. If the slaves read manuals on how to plant corn and tobacco, and how to harvest crops for their masters do you think they would be free? What about Harry Potter?
“If you don’t read the newspaper, you’re uninformed. If you read the newspaper, you’re misinformed.” – Mark Twain.
It’s in some writers code somewhere not to quote the same person twice in one piece. Well I don’t care about codes. Mark Twain said what needs to be said both times and who am I to omit such profound words?
It’s time to start reading the right information, and how you start is by looking down the road.
Read that again.
Down the road. Yes, like where you want to go..
Who has the results in life that you want? What are they reading, and what have they written?
Jeff Olson, author of the book
“The Slight Edge” suggests that by reading ten pages of a good book most days of the year you can put yourself on the path towards overwhelming success. If your worried about “success” being only money and things, you’ve got it all wrong and you can learn the real meaning of success HERE!
Olson suggests books written by authors like Norman Vincent Peale, Dale Carnegie, Zig Ziglar, Jim Rohn, and titles like The Millionaire Next Door and Smart Women Finish Rich.
Ten pages a day is all. What would have changed had slaves read ten pages a day? Is your freedom worth it!?
Most of you reading this will have doubts. I understand. But you’ll stay a slave until you liberate your mind.
It takes around 21 days to form a habit. I want you to share with me at the end of those 21 days how your life has changed. I guarantee it will.
Share with me a book that has changed your life.
Books that have changed my life.
The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson
Happy Happy Happy by Phil Robertson
Unphiltered by Phil Robertson
The Go Giver by Bob Burg and John David Mann
Mans Search For Meaning by Victor Frankl
Wild at Heart by John Eldridge
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
The Magic of Thinking Big by David J. Schwartz, Ph. D.
The E myth Revisited by Michael Gerber
Should I fire my Doctor by Patricia J. Sulak, MD
The 4 hour Work Week by Timothy Ferris
Leadershift by Oliver DeMille and Orrin Woodward
The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Classon
The End of Jobs by Taylor Pearson
The Bible, where all of life’s answers are clearly written and the original document promising freedom to every single person alive.
I have taken book recommendations from some multimillion dollar mentors, big thinkers, and freedom advocates. So when I suggest something, it comes from conversations I’ve had with people who have true freedom, and honest success in their lives.
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