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

Immortal Truth

Algernon Sidney famously wrote that “that which is not just, us not law; and that which is not law, ought not to be obeyed.” Continuing on in that section, he writes that Law… “must be founded upon that eternal principle of reason and truth, from whence the rule of justice is sacred and pure ought to be deduced, and not from the depraved will of man…” There is always one truth that all men know down inside their souls. This is what we should base our lives and our laws on. This is the rule we must measure all against. Men naturally falter, they can be corrupted and swayed to where what they wish will not always be the best. But what is really good always remains good in our hearts. Certain principles should govern not only our personal lives, but our political ones as well. The purpose of written law is to push us back towards virtue when we have strayed, so our laws should be as virtuous as possible. Basing them on what is true is the key to make this work. In order for this to happen we must not only redirect ourselves back into the path of truth, but convince others that this is what is best and what was meant for us. We know what is good, we just need to be reminded of it. Today, laws are made when people get upset or someone in power wants something new. We can not base our laws on what people want, or what people think is best. We must base them on what we know is true. People differ, good does not.

Yours Truly,

Publius

Learning From History: The Good and the Bad

“A republic perishes when its citizens no longer remember their past. Without an active remembrance of those who founded and protected its institutions through good times and bad, its citizens gradually lose sight of the virtues that made their republic great. Failing to cultivate those virtues will lead them to squander their precious inheritance… Today the past is more often treated as a cautionary tale instead of a guide. Rather than emulating our forbearers’ virtues, we are urged to focus only on their sins.” -Philip A Wallach

Many things that actually have such a positive and virtuous impact, are given bad connotations today. Words or principles we know and love are changed in such a way that takes much of the value from them. We are required in school to study history, and most of the time the reason we are given for having to do so is so we can avoid the mistakes the people before us had made. While this is true, why is it that we only focus on the bad? While we revere George Washington, James Madison, and the other founding fathers as heroes, we are not told to look at their examples of virtue and to try to become like them. Instead we are told “If only there were people like that today” or people expose their weaknesses to try to take away from all the things that were good about them. Until recently, in my history classes I was never told to “learn from this experience” unless we were discussing a mistake someone or some group of people had made. We live in a world full of negativity, and because of that it is even more crucial to focus on the positive aspects of history and try to be as they were. Not just to say “I wish there were people like that today” but to become modern day James Madisons or Patrick Henrys. Those kinds of people didn’t become who they were by sitting and hoping for the best. They worked hard to educate themselves and gain knowledge. Those kinds of people didn’t just live 250 years ago, they live now. You can become that type of person. Learn from the mistakes that were made, but also follow the examples of those that have done good. Then we can all work together to emulate the virtue our ancestors once had.

Yours truly,

Publius

The Power of What is to Come

“The past cannot be changed. The future is yet in your power” -Unknown

I don’t think we realize how much power we hold just by living in this time. Everything that has happened is out of our control, though we can learn from it. Everything that will happen is solely within our power. We have the ability to change the lives of hundreds of people in the future just by the small decisions we make now. This is one of the reasons pursuing virtue and liberty is so important. It can be extremely difficult to see what difference you are making by doing so, but the difference is there. Whether you’re making a difference within yourself, or within others, it is there, even if it’s small. And in years from now those small changes will grow, and someone’s life will be completely different because you chose to be virtuous now. What an amazing truth that is! You can make someone’s life so much better, someone you don’t even know, just by pursing what is right.

Thomas Jefferson said, “I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past.”

Now, what has happened in the past is so important to know and study because there is so much to learn from it, but in reality, it’s over and there is nothing we can do to change it. Thomas Jefferson knew the blessings that came from studying history, just as we should, but he also recognized that what will happen is more important than what has happened. We have no ability to change the past, nor should we want to, as it has shaped who we are today, but the future can beautiful or frightening depending on how we choose to live our lives today. I hope we can all realize that we have power. We have a wonderful gift given to us to be able to shape our own future and the future of those who will proceed us, but we must use it wisely. Seek virtue, seek liberty, and the impact you will make by doing so will shape a wonderful future.

Yours truly,

Publius