Sure, but only as far as you are willing to think. Are we slaves to the need for food, I mean everyone needs to eat–right? So we need to feed ourselves in order to live. Are we slaves to air? We will not live long with out it. Anything beyond the primary need to live, the scale of “slave” diminishes. But what is a slave? Well, a person who is the property of someone else, is my first definition. A second definition would be someone who is influenced, or governed by someone, or something that would cause them to conform, adapt, or except a specific condition. So, in a country such as Canada, to legally own someone as to control what and when they can live and do, is totally against the law. But, the latter definition is acceptable to a certain degree.
Let me argue taxes and drugs. Taxes, one could argue, is a issue that for most of us who earn money and buy things, we must accept. We all pay taxes through our income, well most of us do…. Taxes are a fundamental facet of our society, and a means in which we can have the wonderful country that we have today. E.g.: roads, bridges, Health-Care, policing, schools, and so on. Paid by, through our income and buying, we pay for the government and services that we enjoy. Imagine our country without a government such as what we have now–we would have a lawless state with no Health-Care or bridges, and your property could be stolen because we would have no justice? Our tax laws dictate that the more money you earn, the higher the rate of taxes you will pay. Someone who makes $60, 000.00 per year, will pay about $11-13, 000.00 per year (a very estimated guess–OK). Where as someone who only earns $10, 000.00 would pay about $900.00 per year–estimated. So, if you hate paying taxes, you can minimizes the amount the amount of taxes by earning less. Oh, wait, that is is not a very “Western” concept now–is it? But you have a choice in terms of what degree you will pay taxes. A person taking street drugs is slave to the addiction. The obvious argument is that that person made a very foolish decision, and is now paying for that mistake with a poor lifestyle. The drug user is now a slave to the addiction, and will do almost anything to acquisition their next fix; their standard of life drops because of the effects to their health, maintaining a living and avoiding the law. However, unlike the tax-payer, the drug-user has a better choice: he or she can quit–cold turkey.
Why am I talking about taxes, drugs and slaves? Most people, especially during their mid-life, will go through this cycle of feeling like a slave. They become fixated on this idea that whatever they do, they will never come out on top. Or, they fear that their life is pointless, and the meaning of life will not be fulfilled based on their expectations when they die. Perhaps the greatest lesson I had from college came from a class in my 1100 psychology course where I was asked to answer this question: “Are you a happy slave, or a conscious slave? So, in turn, I ask you to think about this question for a moment. Perhaps I can only give one small answer to this question: smile, and be happy.