Learning From Error

We all make mistakes and no one can argue against that. We all do things we wish we could undo; things that embarrass us, things that harm others or ourselves, and things that have short term, or long lasting effects. This does not mean that because we all stumble that it is acceptable to continue making the same mistakes. Cicero declared, “any man can make mistakes, but only a fool persists in his error.” Yes, there will be times when you misstep, but once you find you have taken a wrong turn, change your direction. Do not continue to go down the path you know is taking you away from your destination. Strive to be virtuous, and avoid the things of the world that pull away from personal virtue and liberty. But do not give up when you do something you wish you hadn’t. Do not lose hope when you have to change course. Each and every mistake we make is an opportunity for us to learn and grow. They will guide us in the future, and help us grow and progress. Plutarch taught that “to make no mistakes is not in the power of man; but from their errors and mistakes the wise and good learn wisdom from the future.” We are not expected to be perfect. To be virtuous does not mean never making a mistake. To be virtuous is to learn from those mistakes and become better through your experiences. 

Yours truly,

Publius 

Living Up to the Constitution

Our country was given a very special gift in our Constitution. The founders who wrote the laws of our land wrote them not for themselves, but for future generations. They studied the history of past civilizations in order to understand the policies, ideas, and issues that can span lifetimes. They knew that the people who lived in America would not stay the same, and they knew there would eventually be a time that things began to falter, but they labored to make it as easy as possible for us to stand up to a tyrant when one comes to power and expected us to fight as soon as someone took power that was not given to them. The federalist and anti-federalist papers prove their knowledge, and prove that they wrote the Constitution with future generations in mind. They gave us this government because they knew it was the best for us. But there is a reason it is not working. Our constitution was designed for a virtuous society, the society our founders hoped would proceed them. In Centinal 1, in the Anti-Federalist papers, it declares simply and straightforwardly, “A free government can only exist where the body of the people are virtuous.” We must change ourselves to live up to the constitution, not change the constitution to live down to us. The government set up in the American constitution can lead a country no matter what time, but an unvirtuous people can never fathom the power that our constitution has. So before you claim that America’s founding principles are too outdated or that they can no longer work for today’s society, check and see if it is instead that today’s society can no longer work for our constitution. You may be surprised what you would discover a virtuous people is capable of.

Yours truly,

Publius

Move Forward With the End in Mind

One of the hardest things for us to accept is that we just don’t know everything. We constantly have questions about the past, present, or future that we can’t seem to find the answers to. It becomes hard to pursue something when you don’t know exactly where it will lead, how long it will take to get there, and what you will need to sacrifice; but, sometimes what we need to do is all we can do. Move toward what you know is right and believe that it will work out in the long run. Easier said than done, right? It is hard to invest in something that is so difficult without knowing if it will all pay off, but trust me when I say, one way or another, if it is right, it will pay off. I know that this may be little consolation because it still leaves many questions unanswered like, “when will it pay off?” But my advice is to move forward with the end in mind, and try not to think about things that have little importance in the long run. If we spend all our time concerned with the little details then we will ultimately miss out on our main goal. As we are laboring to restore liberty, it may seem like our efforts are making little difference, but think about what we are working towards, a country enveloped in the arms of liberty and free from the bonds of tyranny, and suddenly the difficulties that accompany this task seem to disappear. Niccolò Machiavelli taught, “where the willingness is great, the difficulties cannot be great.” What we do is just a small role in the ultimate restoration of liberty, but it could have a lasting and powerful effect. We must never forget what we are working towards, otherwise we will be consumed with worry about the trials and difficulties that lie ahead, and forget about the blessings that come because of them. 

Yours truly,

Publius