The Past and the Future

It is always advised to learn from the past. The past mistakes from us and from others teach us to be better people in the long run. But it is important to remember that while we look to the past for guidance, we must not dwell on those past experiences. As Francis Bacon wrote, “That which is past is gone, and irrevocable; and wise men have enough to do, with things present and to come; therefore they do but trifle with themselves, that labor in past matters.” Everyone has mistakes they’ve made in the past that they wish to correct. Despite this, there is almost nothing at all we can do to alter that past. Just as we can not change history, our own personal backgrounds are set in stone. The key is to take that and build off of it. 

It is cowardly to only look behind you as you move forward. Fear of what is to come ties you to what has already happened. There is always hesitation moving forward, but that doesn’t mean we can dwell on what is past. It takes courage to venture into the unknown; the path is not necessarily unknown, however. Wise men take the past and use it as a lamp for the future. Just as Patrick Henry said, “I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience. I know no way of judging of the future but by the past.” When we study history, we know what steps we must take and which steps we must avoid. It is important to remember from whence we came. Every action done, every decision made has lead us to this exact moment. Even the poor choices and the missteps mean something. And more importantly they show us the way to a better future. Those who came before us died so we may live without their mistakes. It is disrespectful to ignore their struggles and simply learn it in our own. Move on from the past, but keep it in your mind. It will help you keep moving forward for years to come. 

Yours truly,

Publius

Curiosity

Everyone has heard the phrase “curiosity kills the cat”, yet we have also been told to question and search. It seems that we are once told to stick to the surface and again told to dig deeper. I believe that life truly requires a balance of both. There is always a time to inquire and a time to remain silent. Plutarch writes of this in his essay “Of Curiosity”. He describes how there are some people who think it is their place to know everyone’s business. They “cannot be satisfied unless they rake into the private and concealed evils of every family in the neighborhood.” People like this are rarely trusted and are seen as enemies rather than friends. There are matters that are meant to be kept private. “Without knocking at the door, it is great rudeness to enter another’s house,” as Plutarch puts it. Boundless curiosity is not only rude to the others around us, but is harmful to those who have it.

Despite this, there is a way to use curiosity in the proper setting. Plutarch proposes “to avoid the danger of this curiosity, divert thy thoughts to more safe and delightful enquiries.” Nature holds secrets that are meant to be analyzed. There are questions in life that need to be answered. If we direct any curiosity in those directions, it will not go to waste. Dig into ancient histories or books of principles and virtue. Seek to educate yourself on the things that matter. This will not be harmful. In fact, it is normally the opposite.

We cannot avoid curiosity in our lives. However, we can direct it towards the proper ends. There is nothing wrong with questions as long as they are focused on the proper issues. As we dive into knowledge, there is no limit. We should always strive towards understanding the world around us. Being inquisitive is not always a bad thing. We simply must learn where to direct our growing minds. This ability comes through maturity and education. Let us together push towards that perfect balance.

Yours Truly,

Publius

All Men Are Created Equal

This Thursday marks the 243rd anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. One of the key phrases in it is “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights”. While most Americans are able to quote this line with confidence, very few actually understand what it means. Thomas Jefferson knee the importance of the words he was writing and chose them very carefully. He writes that “all men” have these characteristics. Today, the phrase has somehow started to mean all Americans. However, this is not what he is saying. All men, no matter where they are born or what country they pledge allegiance to, have the natural rights to life, liberty, and property among many others. The Creator gave these rights to mankind, and we have no authority to deny anyone of them. We claim to want liberty for all, yet we don’t let them choose how they receive it. We claim to respect the life of others, yet we take it away without question or trial. We claim to want the best for every citizen of every country, yet we march in and take over without pause. Why do we not respect all men?

You can not force men to be free. When independence was declared, the convention did not require everyone to sign the document. States joined the union voluntarily. The Bills of Rights was written to ensure that the government didn’t over step their boundaries like the monarchy that proceeded them. Every step of the way, America upheld the natural rights of man. So why does it stop at our borders?

While we celebrate our nation’s independence and the liberty that severance allowed the founders to act upon, keep in mind the principles that lead our founding fathers to that point. We were created to be free, as all men were. Our rights do not come from the government and do not stop at our citizenship. We are independent. Let’s start recognizing what that truly means.

Yours truly,

Publius

Choosing Your Path

It is sometimes thought that men are constantly choosing between the right and wrong things in life. While this is most commonly that case, there sometimes arises that situation where there appears to be only one choice. Well, then what is the case? If it is an evil path, does that make the traveler evil? Or if it is the noble way to go is the decider inherently virtuous?

I believe that there are some people who honestly do not know any way but one. Perhaps they have not been taught an opposing side or they have never come across it in there life. When this is the case, they can not be seen as choosing their way. If a person has grown up with a family who has always followed a certain path and was never told that there are other options, they are not choosing between good or evil; they are following what they know.

We look around our country right now and see thousands of examples of this very thought. The virus that is plaguing our country is not the current generations doing. It has come from decades of un-education in generations of Americans. The “blame” is so far back that is is very hard to pinpoint exactly where it started. People today are simply following what they know. Their parents, and their parents’ parents years back, have only presented them one way to live and act. They honestly do not know any better. So they are not “choosing” the wrong thing if they are not seeing any options.

This is where people start to get heated, however. Many argue that they are still making that choice no matter what because the good path is always there. And while this is technically true, just because a path is there doesn’t mean they can see it. And usually, they haven’t even been taught how to look for it.

We must be their guiding light. It is our job, those of us that can see the good way to do things, to show them that they have other options. We must educate them, teach them the difference between right and wrong, the true difference. If you are able to consciences make the decision to do good each and every day, you have been given the gift of the truth. Now it is up to you to share it.

But be careful. Often times, there are people who only see one choice in their life, and it happens to be the good one. Perhaps you were raised in a very virtuous family and were blessed to have the righteous path laid out very clear. You still need to pay attention. As Plutarch wrote, “Virtue, like finest brass, by use grows bright.” If you have been blessed with an inclination towards virtue, you must still make the best of it. Strengthen it like any other muscle. Not acting on the best instincts makes them useless.

People are quick to judge the others around them. They see people’s actions and have no consideration to the process behind them. We must always be open to the possibility that others have not been shown the truth. Because many have not. But if we always meet these people with disapproval and contempt, no one will ever want to hear what we have to say. Keep this in mind every time you try to speak the good word to those around you.

Yours truly,

Publius

3 Years of Pursing Patriotism

This past Sunday marks the three year anniversary of America Restored. As we celebrate everything that has lead us here, we think back to our original purpose of these blogs. We truly do want to restore America because we love our country. But sometimes it is unclear what that love, which some refer to as patriotism or ‘public spirit’, actually looks like. As Gordon wrote in Cato’s Letter Number 35, “The love of one’s country, or publick spirit, is a phrase in every body’s mouth, but it seldom goes deeper, it is talked of with out being felt.” 

We see false patriots around us every day. They claim to love America and the freedoms it possesses, yet they act in ways that completely undermine what the founders stood for. They, in fact, are the opposite of true patriots. Those people slowly lead the masses away from what America is and act against the public’s own good in a way that could never be considered the love of one’s country. Gordon writes that the “duty of a man to himself [must] be performed subsequently to the general welfare, and consistently with it.”  There are still many who claim to have a different duty – be it protection or humanitarianism or whatever flag they wave. They use their titles to take us away from our governing document and ideals. They make wild claims or use invisible threats to make us unsteady. It is best put in letter 35:

“Those patrons therefore of dry dreams, who do mischief to the world to make it better, are the pests and distressers of mankind, and shut themselves out from all pretense to love of their country. They would force all men into an absolute certainty about absolute uncertainties and contradictions; they would ascertain ambiguities, without removing them, and plaque and punish men for having but five senses.”

We must not listen to these men. In order to defeat their false pretenses, we should strive for the truth. To love one’s country, you must understand what it stands for. What good is spirit if it is not rooted in the proper place?

So how do we show our public spirit? We strive to be true patriots and support our country as best we know how – by upholding the principles of its founders and honoring the government they created. We seek to educate the public and point out the misdeeds around us. As Gordon wrote, “we…dread to see the day, when it will be safer for one man to be a traitor, than for another man, or for a whole people, to call him so. Where-ever public spirit is found dangerous, she will soon be seen dead.” 

Thank you for being with us these three years as we work towards our goal. We would also like to apologize for our lack of consistency these past few weeks. Our lives have been moving forward and changing, but because of this we are focused on making “America Restored” do the same. We hope you will stay with us as we further pursue the noble path of our fathers before us. 

Yours truly,

Publius

Confidence is Key

Most of us have probably heard the phrase “confidence is key”, but it’s sometimes hard to see how true that phrase is. In order to accomplish your goals, you need to hold confidence in yourself and also in those around you. Now, this isn’t to say that we won’t have moments when we feel unconfident or scared of what is to come, because that is inevitable, but if we want to be able to do great things we have to believe we are capable of doing them. In those moments when you feel most low, you have to have the courage to remind yourself that you can soar. If you don’t believe you can make it, you won’t put forth the effort to do so. That goes for everyone around you as well. We must have confidence that those we choose to surround ourselves and help us through our journey are capable of lifting us up and standing by our side. Without that and without trust in yourself, there will be nothing to motivate you to stand back up when you have fallen down. Be confident in the things you’ve learned and the faith you’ve developed. Be confident that the good things you do are making a difference. Be confident that each step you take will bring you closer to your goal. You are so close, so hold that conviction that what you are doing is right and you will make it further than you ever thought possible. If we are confident in the principles we know to be true, we can restore them to their full glory.

Yours truly,

Publius

45!

“Freedom is the English subject’s Prerogative.”

Today marks the 256th anniversary of the publication of the 45th issue of The North Briton by John Wilkes. In it, he criticized several public ministers, including the king, thus sparking both outrage and acclamation. Those who supported him and those who supported the sacred cause of liberty were heard to shout “Wilkes and Liberty!” and “45!”

Today, our liberties are threatened. Not from a foreign invader, but from the inside. We’ve ceased to be virtuous, thus allowing corruption to fester and grow. We’ve ceased to be valiant; we’re too afraid to stand up on our own. We’ve ceased to be vigilant, causing us to become ignorant. We’ve allowed ourselves to become distracted. The media, celebrities, politicians all demand our attention, and what do we do? We practically drown them in it.

Now is the time to rise up and be vigilant, valiant, and virtuous. Now is the time to spread Freedom’s Fire. Now is the time to join the inexorable cause of freedom.

To Wilkes, and that forever sacred cause

Pharos

45!

“Freedom is the English subject’s Prerogative.”

Today marks the 256th anniversary of the publication of the 45th issue of The North Briton by John Wilkes. In it, he criticized several public ministers, including the king, thus sparking both outrage and acclamation. Those who supported him and those who supported the sacred cause of liberty were heard to shout “Wilkes and Liberty!” and “45!”

Today, our liberties are threatened. Not from a foreign invader, but from the inside. We’ve ceased to be virtuous, thus allowing corruption to fester and grow. We’ve ceased to be valiant; we’re too afraid to stand up on our own. We’ve ceased to be vigilant, causing us to become ignorant. We’ve allowed ourselves to become distracted. The media, celebrities, politicians all demand our attention, and what do we do? We practically drown them in it.

Now is the time to rise up and be vigilant, valiant, and virtuous. Now is the time to spread Freedom’s Fire. Now is the time to join the inexorable cause of freedom.

To Wilkes, and that forever sacred cause

Pharos

Reason and Good Temper

In Cicero’s On Duty, he writes to his son about the duties of a man in the world. One of the many actions he describes is to remain courteous at all times. Cicero writes, “there is a demand for courtesy, and for a soul superior to petty causes of vexation, lest if we suffer ourselves to be angry with those who intrude upon us inopportunely, we fall into irritable habits equally harmful and hateful.” Every human being deserves our respect and courtesy in every situation, especially if they are our enemy. If we let ourselves be quick to judgment and anger, we will follow a path very hard to depart from. Anger corrupts the soul. It makes us irritable and quick-tempered. We lose rationality when we are angry. Emotions take over, and when emotions run wild, reason seems to fall behind. Instead we must act calmly. We must be level-headed at all times and not let those whom we are at odds with anger us. This is especially important when dealing with people of different political opinions. Cicero explains this by stating, “Nor are they to be listened to who think that anger is to be cherished toward those who are unfriendly to us on political grounds, and imagine that this betokens a large-minded and brave man; for nothing is more praiseworthy, nothing more befitting a great and eminent man, than placability and clemency.” It is not admirable to be defensive or combative in political discussions. The people looked up to the most are those who maintain a calm temper in the most trying of situations. They keep their heading and therefor keep their reason in all issues. We must strive to handle ourselves in this way. Avoid anger at all costs and keep our emotions in check. If we abandon reason for temperament, we can never hope to have discussions in the appropriate manner. 

Yours Truly,

Publius

Why?

I’ve come to realize that in today’s society, ‘tyrant’ is not as foreign of a word as I originally thought. However, people seem to use it to describe only the person who is opposing their political party. Something many choose to ignore is that there are many people who classify as a tyrant, not just a single ruler. A tyrant is any one being who takes power that is not theirs, or anyone who crosses the line of power that was given them. And I know I have written about it before, but as Trenchard and Gordon say, “the subject of liberty and tyranny [is] a noble subject, superior to all others… it concerns the whole earth, and children ought to be instructed in it as soon as they are capable of instruction.” This is a lesson that continually needs to be taught.

So, why are tyrants so bad? What’s wrong with living under a tyrant if you are “happy”? The answer is one that should be shouted over and over: because we need liberty! Robert Ingersoll said that “what is light to the eyes- what air is to the lungs- what love is to the heart, liberty is to the soul of men.” Liberty is not just a convenience, it is a necessity, and tyranny destroys that. Nothing can be more cruel than someone who slowly deprives a people of something as glorious as liberty and does so in a way they don’t even realize it. Trenchard and Gordon even go so far as to say that if the devil himself had one way to get ahold of man, it would be through tyrants. Without your liberty, you are not free to do what you know is right and will therefore not live up to your true potential. Tyranny should be feared and avoided at all costs. Part of treasuring and restoring liberty is protecting ourselves from those who seek to take it away. Educate yourself on this “noble subject” and do everything in your power to bring down tyranny so liberty can rise up.

Yours truly,

Publius