Are we being manipulated?

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“Only the farmers are free because they are not dependent on anyone else,” says father to son in “Farm Boy” (part of the “Little House on the Prairie”series I long ago read with my kids). The statement stayed with me. I love this series as a historical how to, survival guide. “Pa” could do everything, build a house, barn, furniture, grow crops,smoke bacon, hunt, trap and generally survive in the wild (Bear Grills has nothing on those 19th. century pioneers!) Many of the books explain just how he did it too. (If you thought they were just old fashioned kids stories think again – packed full of social historical detail)
Why has this statement stuck with me? The elder brother wanted to go into business where life was easier and more lucrative. Father was explaining to his younger son (Laura’s future husband) why he felt farming was better.Farming has changed a great deal from those times (and seems under attack from big corporations)yet I think there is a kernel of truth still in Pa’s statement. There are few professions in which we can be truly free to live according to our conscience without manipulation from the powers that be.
Living most of my life as a private tutor and children’s entertainer I had a large measure of freedom but not as much as these early pioneers. Of course a great factor is is our being greedy, the more we want the more we are open to manipulation.