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

The Value of Individual Liberty

So many times I have written about the “precious jewel” that is liberty. I’ve written about how to preserve it, it’s importance, and it’s value, and once again I wish to discuss this “noble subject”, as it is called by Thomas Gordon. As I continue to try to explain just how valuable liberty is, I continue to run into the same problem, one that Gordon also encountered. As I try to explain it, I notice that “language fails in it, and words are too weak.” Nothing I say or write can do any justice to the precious gift and blessing that liberty is and express how valuable it should be in our lives, but I can do my best to try.

There were and are a countless number of people who would give anything to preserve individual liberty. As everyone knows, Patrick Henry even said, “give me liberty or give me death!” And he was not the only one who felt that way. Not only this, but people lived they’re entire lives dedicated to liberty, giving up their lives in a different way. What other intangible gift has had such an effect on mankind that would cause them to die, or live, just to preserve it? I can think of very few.

Those who are governed by liberty are those who love their neighbors and strive to help not only themselves, but all those around them. Liberty is being free to do whatever you see fit as long as you don’t intrude on another’s liberty. What a wonderful society that would be to live in! Where everyone loves and trusts each other and loves and cherishes liberty.

Liberty is not a past gift that we can never obtain. It is not something we learn about in history books and old journals. Liberty is priceless, beloved, and one of the most important gifts we have been given today. “Give is that precious jewel, and you may take everything else!”

I know it is impossible for me to fully express the value of this jewel, but I plead with you, strive to understand it, for it is one of the most important things to understand. Strive to value it, so that you may be willing to fight for it. I promise you, it is just as relevant to do so today as it was 250 years ago, if not more so.

“We, who enjoy the precious, lovely, and invaluable blessing of liberty, know that nothing can be paid too dear to preserve it” -Gordon

Yours truly,

Publius

Decide to be Happy

“Happiness depends upon ourselves.” -Aristotle

Such a short and simple phrase, yet full of so much truth. The world is full of so much negativity, or of things that promise happiness but never deliver. We are taught that happiness is almost an object; something tangible that we are working to reach. It is difficult to find that happiness if you look at through this lens. Happiness isn’t an object, it is not something you can obtain only when you complete a list of certain requirements, it is a state of mind. Happiness is a choice. However, George Washington also said that “happiness and moral duty are inseparably connected.” If we choose to live unvirtuous lives, that state of mind may become a little harder to reach as the little voice in your head tells you what you are doing is wrong. We cannot be happy if we choose to seek for that joy by seeking wickedness. On the other hand, if you live according to your moral duty, knowing what you are doing is right, you don’t need money, fame, or other worldly objects to try to satisfy your desire for happiness because the most sincere joy comes from doing what you know to be right. What a beautiful truth that is. The world will continue to lure you into believing the happiness you long for can only be found by going against your moral values when in reality that will only bring you misery. But I promise you, the misery can be avoided, and that joy that you are yearning for achieved. This of course does not mean that life will be perfect and that trial won’t arise, but you will be able to make it through, still smiling, and still knowing what is right. I can assure you that as you follow your moral duties, and as you seek truth and virtue, you will find happiness.

Yours truly,

Publius

Speak Loud

One of the major issues in today’s society is freedom of speech. There is a question of what are the appropriate boundaries, if any, when controlling speech is on the line. Well, there is a very clear answer. Freedom of speech is a key an integral part to retaining liberty and can not be controlled or removed. As Trenchard and Gordon wrote, “A free people will be showing that they are so, by their freedom of speech.” The proclamation of ones thoughts is the clearest example of a free being. By saying what you want, you show that there is no control over you and that no one can stop you from acting. When you have no one watching what you say, you will speak more freely, so when a tyrant is breathing down you’re neck, you hold your tongue. The free man will speak out when things are wrong, the slave will either not notice or keep quiet. Additionally, the government does not have the power to silence your speech. No matter what people say, the government can not have any power over the people that the people themselves do not have. We created the government and gave them certain powers. How can we give something we do not have? We have no authority to punish our neighbor for something he said. We have no authority to go into his house and force him to be silent. We don’t have the authority to kill a man just because of what he said, so neither does the government. If you don’t agree with something, or you don’t like what was said, ignore it. You don’t have to listen. If your neighbor can be silenced, so can you. It is our right to express our opinions. We not only have that right to speak our minds, but a responsibility when it comes to what we know is true. We must share these things we have learned, shout it from the rooftops, till it touches every ear it can. You owe it to yourself, to the people around you, and to the people come and gone that you now revere to speak out. There is debt that must be paid for the years left silent; We must pay it in any way we can. Yes, we may be talking to a wall and maybe no one will ever hear the things we say or read the things we write, but perhaps someone will. Maybe the things we do will have the power and force to change how at least one person sees the world. Maybe one more person will fight back because of us. Maybe one more person will join in our efforts to change the world. That’s enough of a chance for me. Is it enough for you?

Yours Hopefully,

Publius