What does it cost?
It is not a simple question, and thus no simple answers.
This flag above me means freedom.
Most people desiring it don’t have the fortune of standing under this flag, and many will never have the opportunity to even contemplate the question.
Freedom (just after relief from pain!) is perhaps the most essential human desire, because at the center of our design we’re curious. I disagree with our moniker: homo sapiens, we should rather be homo curiosum: it’s what defines our species. We are very curious monkeys, and so the most severe punishments conceived all involve various insults to freedom, various denials to our desire for novelty. It may seem trite, but wars are fought over it, we deny it to our convicted.
To me, freedom is the unfettered ability to follow our dreams and desires. This applies to every aspect of life: professionally, personally, spiritually, emotionally.
When are you most free? Is it while on vacation? The weekend? When you leave work? When you get to work? How do you treat your freedom? What do you do with it? It seems we westerners spend an enormous amount of time and effort servicing our apparent freedom, but quite possibly in the care and servicing we forget the freedom in and of itself.
Perhaps the ancient Greeks knew best: The secret to happiness is freedom… And the secret to freedom is courage. –Thucydides
Fill our sails!