You Are in Control

I’ve written before about what it means to truly be happy. And that we can choose for ourselves if we want to be that way. But the world constantly tells us otherwise, so I feel like it’s important to address once again.

We are constantly confronted with lies promising happiness, or telling us that with our circumstances happiness is unobtainable. While it might be easy, we cannot buy into these lies. We are the only ones responsible for our happiness and no one can take it away, or even give it. The word happiness does not refer to our worldly pleasures, but our virtue. As we strive for virtue and knowledge, we are in the pursuit of happiness.

George Washington said that “happiness and moral duty are inseparably connected.” But why? Because as we do what we are meant to be doing, we are fulfilling the job we have been given and accomplishing our purpose, and nothing can give us a greater sense of joy than this. No one can tell us our circumstances restrict us from true happiness because we are in charge of our own moral character. And no one can promise us happiness from worldly pleasures because they bring only temporary satisfaction, but soon die away and we feel the need for something more. Though today’s entry may be brief, the message is true. You can be happy. Never let anyone tell you otherwise. As you work toward what you know to be right, joy, real joy, will undoubtedly come.

Yours truly,

Publius

Wisdom of the Heart and Mind

“There is a wisdom of the head and a wisdom of the heart.” -Charles Dickens

What is the wisdom of the head? This is fact. We know one plus one equals two and nothing can change that. It cannot be argued or disputed, it just is. Some of this wisdom can be argued, however. Wisdom of the head may also include ideas that can be debated using logic and reason. Whatever it is, wisdom of the head does not come from feeling and emotion, but from fact, logic, and study. We gain this type of wisdom from simply reading books. We take in the knowledge that comes from them and keep it in our memory. Though important, this is not the only type of knowledge we require.

Wisdom of the heart is very different from that of the head. It is emotion. Everyone can feel differently in this wisdom, and most of the time, no one is entirely in the right or entirely in the wrong. It is often debated and fought over because people usually tend to be more passionate about this type of wisdom. It cannot be proved by looking in a textbook or typing numbers into a calculator, it has to be studied and thought over. In order to gain wisdom of the heart you must not only read, but you have to ponder and consider as you do so so you can form opinions and ideas based on the heart.

While both of these types of wisdom are beautiful and needed, they cannot exist alone. If we truly want to gain knowledge and make a difference we must use them hand in hand. We need to be able to see the facts of things. To know what is actually true or actually false. But we also have to be able to feel. We can take that knowledge we gain from learning facts and use them to think deeply into important matters and form opinions and beliefs based on what we feel as we study them.

Publius

Do Not Settle

Every day we are faced with questions. Some are simple and we can answer immediately, others require more time and thought. As we ask these more difficult questions, it can be really frustrating when we work toward an answer but can never find one. However, the important thing to remember is that we cannot give up and we cannot settle for the answers society lays out for us.

A question each of us may face is, “what should I be doing right now and where should I be heading?” We all want to know where we are meant to be now and meant to be headed but finding the answer to this takes hard work, and once you find the answer it often leads to more work. So in response, the world answers, “you should not have to care” People will urge you to do what is not right for you. But remember that we each have a specific purpose and duty, and we should never settle for something else just because it’s easier. Those things we know, the things we’re good at, and the things we’re drawn to, all lead us closer to what we are meant to be doing. At times it is so tempting to just stop in the middle of your journey. After all, it is terrifying when you don’t know where you’re going and you can’t see the end, but we cannot settle. We must press forward, even if blindly.

Never be scared to ask a question, never be scared of the answer, and never settle for the world’s reply. Only by asking the important questions and studying them out will you be able to discover the most important answers. Every person from history whom we respect and revere had to, at one point, as themselves questions that they knew would not have a simple answer. Regardless, they asked the questions, the slaved for an answer, and when they found one they worked hard to live up to it. I hope we can all do the same and allow our carefully discovered answers to guide us to virtue and liberty.


Yours truly,
Publius

Show Kindness

With the elections going on, there is so much contention among everyone. You can barely turn on the tv without seeing an ad saying awful things about someone, or enter a conversation about politics without someone getting angry. People are getting so caught up in their party and point of views that they are forgetting to show kindness and understanding. Everyone has an opinion, and that doesn’t mean one side is completely right and the other is completely wrong. We must recognize that the important thing is not to force everyone believe what you believe, but to study, grow, and teach and then accept what happens because of that.

Francis Bacon warned, “read not to contradict and confute; nor to believe and take for granted; nor to find talk and discourage; but to weigh and consider.”
We should be striving for knowledge because of all the good it can do; because it makes us better and helps us to assist other to do the same. We should never seek knowledge simply so we can tear down people who simply have a different opinion than us.

We always say to strive for virtue, and one of the biggest parts of that is being kind. We cannot read the minds of everyone around us, so we should not be so quick to judge and act unkindly to people. If we work with those around us instead of against them, we will go much farther and create something so much stronger. Do not allow your ideas to come in the way of how you treat your neighbors. Always teach what you know, but never do it with discouragement or hate. Work toward virtue and remember to show everyone that kindness no matter what.

Yours truly,
Publius

What If?

It’s a scary question, I know, but really – what if? This opens up a world of possibilities, an open-ended book where you can fill in your future. But, really, it can be simpler than that. The “if” can become stressful, or frightening, and people want to shy away. This doesn’t have to be a burden; it can be a gift. What if it happens? What if it comes to me? What if we win? Why should this be scary? It’s motivating, like “why not”. So, what if you make it? Is that not encouraging enough? Yes, a vast ocean of options is waiting in front of you, and some parts will be good. There has to be a bright light at the end of our tunnel as long as we take the right turns. But what if you fall? Well, what if someone sees you fall and now knows not to step there. But what if you get stuck, what if you can’t walk on? Well, what if you just can’t do it alone, what if someone now tries to walk ahead of you. But what if there is no end? Well, what if you’re better off half-way than no-way. Anyone can look at a mountain of possibilities and see the darkest shadows hiding everything else. You might have to dig, but there is a what if that you can find to push you further. There is the great what if that everyone asks, but every person defines their own answer; everyone has their own what if. So, what if no one reads this? Well, what if someone does. And what if I’m wrong? Well, what if I’m better off for it. What if it doesn’t help people? Well, what if it helps me. What if you can change yourself, and thereby change the world? Don’t shy away, just ask, what if?

Publius

Go Forward, Regardless

Something important for each of us to always keep in mind is that no matter how hard we try, we will never be able to get everyone see things exactly how we do. We cannot change the minds of everyone, we cannot make them feel everything that we feel, and we cannot convince them of every truth.

As we go about teaching, we naturally want everyone to be on the same page we are, to quickly see how great the principles we are trying to teach are. However, this is never the case. People take time to come to an understanding of the timeless principles such as liberty and tyranny. And sometimes, they choose never to seek out that understanding. This can sometimes be so frustrating knowing that what you are trying to teach is so important and beneficial and they simply choose to ignore it. But, the beautiful truth is that though we have no control over what others think, say, or do, we do have complete control over how we act. We can be virtuous, study diligently, and teach others regardless of how those around us act. As we have said countless times, there will always be opposition, but that should never determine how diligent we are in pursuing timeless truths. Benjamin Franklin affirmed that, “An investment of knowledge pays the best interest.” It doesn’t matter if everyone believes you or if everyone ignores you, the knowledge you teach others, if good and virtuous, will always benefit someone and that gift will surpass all others. So, do not be discouraged by the lack of understanding or interest those you are teaching seem to have obtained. It is okay! As long as you are constantly doing your best and pursuing what is right you will make a difference,  someone will learn because of your example, and you will personally grow and be strengthened.

Yours truly,
Publius

What is Your Ambition?

“The bulk of mankind have indeed, in all countries in their turns, been made the prey of ambition.” -Mercy Otis Warren

The definition of ambition is “a strong desire to do or achieve something.” This can be both good and bad. If our ambition is to do and be good, then it will carry us further and we will accomplish good things. On the other hand, if our ambition is for power or worldly possessions, those things will ultimately be our downfall. If we allow our wicked desires to overcome us, we will be made the prey of them. They will enslave us and our liberty will slowly be taken away. This is why “there is no liberty without virtue.”

The ultimate goal for almost every person is to achieve happiness. The problem is that many people don’t know how it can be obtained but the work it takes to search for the path to that happiness is daunting, and the work it takes to stay on that path is even harder. So, instead of seeking for true and lasting happiness, many of us will seek after our less complicated ambitions in order to fill that desire for joy. However, no worldly pleasures will be able to satisfy the real desire for happiness. You must brake free from the chains of a lower ambition and seek that higher and more valuable prize. The work it requires is worth it. Though the comfort and safety tyranny and slavery provide can sometimes be alluring, they will not be able to give you the true happiness that liberty and virtue can. Take the time to do what will bring you joy; you deserve it. Work hard, move toward higher goals, and you will be able to be free and truly happy.

Yours truly,

Publius

Who Is Going to Stop You?

“The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.” -Ayn Rand

This is the question I feel like we avoid asking ourselves. We do not need permission from the government to restore liberty. If we did it would defeat the whole purpose. A tyrant cannot tell you you have to stop pursuing a virtuous goal because in reality they are the only ones breaking the law. A tyrant was not born above you in any way, but obtained his stature through force and our lack of resistance. We do not need to ask if he will allow us to pursue liberty if he is no better than we are. However, this does not mean there will not be people against you. Just because one is not above you doesn’t mean he won’t act like he is, and there will be those who tell you just to follow him. But if you are doing what is right no one can stop you and what a beautiful truth that is. So, when you ask yourself, “who is going to stop me?” You can be assured the answer is only yourself. Though you may not see it, those who are with you far outnumber those who are against you and there are so many cheering you on, yearning for you to succeed. If you choose not to do so, you are the only one to blame because it is so very possible. Though this entry may be brief, we just wanted to reiterate what we know to be true. Liberty is one of the most precious gifts we have ever been given and we must do whatever it takes to restore it. There is not one tyrant that is powerful enough to stop us from doing so. Work hard to learn and teach and one day we will be able to see the fruits of our labors.

Yours truly,
Publius

Independence

The primary focus of America Restored is to restore liberty to our society. In order to do this, we must be independent and virtuous ourselves. We cannot rely on others to learn, grow, or work for us. If we rely too much on what others believe or know, then we will be unable to work toward that belief and it will crumble. We, of course, can listen to what others say, but the day for relying on the belief of others is over. If we wish to restore our society to what it used to be, we must be able to confidently say that we have studied, have learned, and now believe it is important for ourselves.

It is true, what Thomas Paine wrote, that “What we obtain too cheap we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price on its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as freedom should not be highly rated.” Sometimes it might seem like too much. Like all the work is simply too hard for something that shows such little result, but liberty truly is celestial and something of such great worth can not be received by such little work. The effort it takes to study it out and learn about it for yourself is worth it.

The act of taking a step all by yourself can seem terrifying , but it is truly necessary if you want to bring about change. There must always be a first: someone who rises for everyone else to follow. At Lexington and Concord, if the few minutemen did not step onto the hill when they were told “the regulars are coming,” the hundreds of support troops would not have had the courage to step up as well. They risked so much but the reward was immeasurable. Just because you act independently of everyone else does not mean you will always be alone. You simply must wait. Learn for yourself and others will follow. Do not simply be a follower when you are completely capable of living and learning for yourself. Plus, when it comes to virtue, you are the one ultimately responsible for how you turn out. So take control, and others will follow your example.

Yours truly,

Publius

Choose to Forgive

“To err is human; to forgive, is divine.” -Alexander Pope

Every single person makes mistakes. Even those you hold in the highest esteem have their shortcomings. As we go about our day to day lives, there will be people who mess up, and sometimes those mistakes will effect us in a negative way and it becomes hard. We cannot, however, allow what people do to us to overcome us.

Forgiving others can be extremely difficult, especially when what they have done to you has caused you a lot of pain, but the pain only grows as we hold resentment toward others. When we forgive, it not only helps the person you’re choosing to forgive, it benefits you as well. Forgiveness is divine which means it can only lead to virtue. The more you choose to forgive, the more you grow personally and the closer you become to personal virtue.

Shakespeare declared, “sweet mercy is nobility’s true badge.” When we choose to forgive others, it demonstrates our strength, meekness, and kindness. It truly is a badge that we show when we are strong enough to forgive.

And as we make mistakes, we must also choose to forgive ourselves. Only by forgiving ourselves and others can we truly be happy. Benjamin Franklin taught, “Do not fear mistakes. Continue to reach out.” Do not allow the mistakes of others or yourself to limit or define you. Getting caught up in what others have done to you or what you have done to others only enslaves you, but forgiveness takes away that burden. I invite you to constantly strive to demonstrate your kindness, strength, and virtue and choose to forgive.

Yours truly,

Publius