For the course of the past two months I have been playing a game of bureaucratic tag with the UK Home Office and the Chicago UK Consulate. It has been an awful thing to have one’s life be pushed and pulled by a bully of a government. So much more so for the lack of either practical common sense or the ethical treatment of children in their thinking and actions.
The details of the situation involve my daughter, an inept government to lazy to make a single phone call and that just takes your $500 fee and says “no, I couldn’t be bothered to even look into you but, No, still the same.” Needless to say I will be having more formal exchanges with Home Office in the near future and will soon again find myself at the mercy, or its lack thereof, of the UK government.
But lets not point the finger. I am sure the US government is just the same. A bureaucratic mess in which no one can talk to anyone and nothing can be known. Though I will say the English are particularly good at making things difficult.
Beyond all of this is the fundamental emotional core created by the situation. Regardless of the facts or figures my life, and the life of my daughter, was instantly turned inside out at the whim of a system of lazy bureaucrats. Where I traveled and if I take her along suddenly was far beyond my control. My daughter had been taken from me and thus my life was horribly affected by these bureaucrats who had no care for me, my daughter, or anyone else.
How is it in the modern world we can live and think that we are “free”, or that even the concepts of “freedom” was something attainable? I can tell you for one thing that you are not free. Your government, and the governments of any country you enter, have absolute control over your life. If they so decide, or in more realistic terms if you happen across an employee of this bureaucratic process on a day when said official has not yet had lunch and was out drinking the night before, you find they are capable of turning your life instantly inside out.
More and more in the modern world we travel, we cross borders and use planes to do so. As we do we surrender our freedoms in the name of “safety and security”. As we penetrate a country, we enter through its barrier and must deal with those drunkards to whom the government has given the role of guard dog. And they can irrevocably ruin your day, if not your life.
Having so recently found myself afoul of this kind of bureaucratic nonsense I am still full of that image which shows me clearly that anything I thought was freedom I never had. If a government can point a finger and separate you from your child what freedoms can anyone really have? We are living an illusion that we think is real. We tell ourselves that this nonsense we call living is all there is, when in fact there is an infinite well of existence that is just beyond the fabric of the lie we are told. The lie we tell each other, the lie we try to believe.
Faith, that ungraspable essence of belief, is something that is taught to us. It is ingrained in us by the institutions that we are forced into. Schools, jobs, religions, all tell us what to think, how to act, where we can and cannot go. Is this the freedom they tell us we have? How is it freedom when we cannot think outside of their idea of reality? How is it freedom when we are force fed a lie?
There is nearly nothing I can do to return to the UK with my daughter and have her return to the school she loves. Instead, she must not come home but stay in the US because of some bureaucrat. This is not freedom. This is control, over everyone and everything.
Freedom is more than just choice.