Seven Steps to Personal Freedom, an owner’s manual for life. (St. Martin’s Press, N.Y., Fall 2001)
The publisher says about the book:
CASTING HIS GAZE ACROSS the sweep of America, he sees slaves everywhere: people beholden to the fear of poverty, the pull of money, possessions, their bosses, mortgages, marketing campaigns, the status quo, and, most of all, their own mind-forged manacles. Around us and within us are forces that would deny our most sacred of all rights, the rights of our own selves.Beloved author, of among many other books, the bestsellers “How to Argue and Win Every Time” and “The Making of a Country Lawyer,” Gerry Spence distills a lifetime of wisdom and observation about how we live, and how we ought to live. Here, in seven chapters, he delivers messages that inspire us first to recognize our servitude, and then to begin the self-defining process toward liberation.
In the tradition of Thoreau, Emerson, and Whitman, Spence is unafraid of the grand idea, the big question, and bold statement. “Seven Simple Steps to Personal Freedom” is a powerfully affirming, large-hearted, and life-changing book that asks us all to take the greatest risk for the greatest reward-our own freedom. And Spence tells us how in Seven Simple Steps.
Spence, recognizing that we are, indeed, slaves to the New Master, the corporate and government monsters who own us and control us in the most subtle ways, sets out seven simple steps that will free each of us.
Everyone yearns freedom, every boss, every worker, every CEO, every maid, every salesman, every lawyer, every Tom Dick and Harry wants freedom. Without freedom we are only high class slaves in a high class cotton field.
So how do we get it? Spence has laid out seven simple steps. To begin with know that Spence, himself, spent a good deal of his own life in a kind of slavery, a slave to duty, to myths of freedom, a slave to the isms of politics, political correctness and church. He was a slave to the ideas of money and the false idea that if one had money one was successful and if not, he was a failure. He was enslaved in the need to acquire, to belong, to be accepted, to have others pass their judgments on him. But before we can be free we must first recognize that we are slaves. This is the first step to personal freedom-recognizing the slave within.
The second step is to recognize the perfect self. We are all perfect, each in our own way. He will tell you why and prove it to you as the second step to freedom.
The third step is to take nothing on its face, accept nothing as the truth unless it is the truth for you. We become the great inquisitors of all that is presented to us. We explode and examine the myths of what is right and wrong, we review the slavery of relationships and we discover how we can be free in them.
The rest of the book-four other steps-guide the reader to his final breaking free. To own the self whether one works for a company, whether one has a boss–it makes no difference. Spence shows how we can be free and belong only to ourselves. The last chapter is a celebration of our newly gained freedom.
This is a small book of only about 160 pages. It is a handbook for freedom. It will fit in most pockets and pocketbooks. America is not free but all Americans want to be free. Spence’s overriding life’s desire is to give people the power to be free, a worthy cause for all of us.