Voltaire taught, “Each player must accept the cards life deals him or her: but once they are in hand, he or she alone must decide how to play the cards in order to win the game.”
I feel like we spend a lot of our time comparing ourselves to others, asking, “why can’t I do this like she can?” or “how come he is so much better than me at this?” The fact is, we’re not all the same. Each of us has talents and abilities we are given that are unique to ourselves. This does not mean that we should stop trying to do our best in everything that we do. We should always be striving to be at our best, and to become better in many different ways. However, this does mean that we should use the natural talents we’ve been given to our advantage, and to help those around us. Once you discover something that you feel you are good at, work hard to develop that talent, and don’t just set it aside because you feel like it doesn’t compare to others. Thomas Gordon said, “it depends upon yourselves to make these rights of yours… of use to you.” We are responsible for using all we have been given to do good. You can not rely on others to do something you are capable of doing yourself. Each of us has a unique role to play while restoring liberty; we cannot all play the same part, otherwise we won’t go anywhere and we will never accomplish anything. Stop looking at what you can’t do, and focus on what you can, then use what you have been given to take back the liberty that has been lost.
As I write each post every week, I try to think of reasons as to why people wouldn’t want liberty, and I believe a common reason no one fights for it today, is because they believe they already have it. Every since we were kids we were told the America is free, which is true, but we are never told that at one point, it was freer. We’re told that where we are now is as good as it gets so we don’t try. We fool ourselves into believing that we could not possibly be loosing our liberty because that cannot happen in America. To this John Trenchard warns, “there is no natural or political body but is subject to the variations and injuries of time. Both are composed of springs, wheels, and ligaments, all in perpetual motion, and all liable to wear out and decay.” Over time, no matter how great the Constitution is or how amazing the government you set up is, without virtuous people defending it, they will loose their liberty. We need to be constantly striving toward liberty, especially now that it is already being taken from us. To continue the words of Trenchard, “Now act honestly and boldly for liberty, or forget the glorious and charming sound.” I have used this quote before, and will most likely use it again because it is simple and true! We will never be able to feel the embrace of liberty if we do nothing to fight for it.
“The only way I know to drive out evil from the country is by the constructive method of filling it with good.” -Calvin Coolidge
There is so much evil in the world and it has such a profound influence on the lives of so many people. Those who support this evil are also the ones who encourage it, and try to get you to do the same. Luckily, there is also so much good in the world! The choice each of us faces everyday is will we be influenced by the evil, or will we be influenced by the good? The people we interact with, the things we read, what we listen to, they can all impact the way we think and the decisions we make. In order to drive out the evil in our lives and fill it with good, we must move only towards those things that promote virtue. We can find a way to become more virtuous in every situation, but some are easier than others. With all the influence evil has on the world, it can become very difficult to choose the path that leads to virtue rather than wickedness. We need to have the courage and determination to choose to be virtuous. Once you have done so, you need to influence those around us to be the same. With all the evil everyone faces, you can be the good that people turn to so they can drive out the evil. In order to become a society that loves liberty, we must first become a society that admires virtue and despises evil. Instead of being influenced by the evil, be an influence for good.
In everything that we do, every single day, we think, then we act. We think, “what should I wear today?”, then after making a decision, we actually put on what we have decided to wear. There are very few actions we ever take without having a thought before them deciding to do that action; however, quite often we think of something, and never act on it. We think of getting up and helping out a friend or neighbor, but then we never do. We think about getting a head start on studying for a test, but then put it off. We think about taking time out of our day to read and learn of valuable principles, but it just doesn’t happen. Getting up and doing something can be a lot harder than just thinking about doing it. However, without the action being taken, friends and neighbors are left alone and you can never learn anywhere near as much as you could have. If we are constantly thinking about doing good, but never act on those thoughts, then so much is left undone. When we allow ourselves to become lazy, then we allow ourselves to become slaves to those who actually act, even if their actions are wrong. Despite this, Stephen R. Covey once said, “We can act, instead of being acted upon.” Short, yet so powerful and true. We cannot let ourselves be ruled by those who work hard for tyranny, as we sit back and watch it happen. We need to put forth more effort and more action than those who are trying to take our liberty. If we choose to be acted upon, instead of taking action, we will be forced to live our lives in slavery. I encourage you all to take the action necessary to earn back that liberty we have lost.
Yours truly, Publius