A close friend of mine and patriot declared, “The necessity of re-establishing liberty is becoming ever greater. The collection process is nearly complete, and soon a complete seizure of the people may be attempted. The best way to fight this is to shine a light in this dark, dark world…We must set alight the torch of virtue and liberty, while the forces of evil collect those who remain in the shadows. Alea iacta est. The die is cast. Now it’s our turn. Will you answer the call?”
I have been thinking lately how it is so hard for us in today’s society to boldly declare what we know because, as John Locke explained, “new opinions are always suspected, and usually opposed, without any reason other than because they are not already common.” Even I find it difficult to talk to my peers about these valuable principles because they are never talked about anymore so people look at them as irrelevant and out of the ordinary. However, when I receive words like the ones above from people I know and communicate with on a daily basis, it reminds me that I’m not alone and that others are experiencing the same thing I am. This patriot was right, as evil pushes harder and harder to rid us of our liberty the need for us to restore it becomes greater. To do that, we must be the examples of virtue and liberty. Though it is hard, we must be willing to declare these principles to those around us, those we see everyday. So, to repeat what this patriot taught me, “The die is cast, now it’s our turn. Will you answer the call?”
In The Screwtape Letters by C.S Lewis, it talks of how humans react to the past, present, and future and the downsides of focusing too much on one of them. If we look toward the future, we get scared; if we look to the past, we get caught up in what already happened; Lewis says that present is preferable, but it still requires a balance because if you focus only on the present, we can never learn or be prepared. I think that we need to learn to balance the past, present, and future in our daily lives and keep from focusing too much on one of them.
To incorporate the past into our lives we need to remember those who came before us. We need to look to their examples and decide who we want to be and what we want to do based on who they already were and what they already accomplished. Not only this, but we should look to our personal pasts. We need to remember our mistakes so we don’t make them again, but not dwell on them so we can progress and become better.
If we look solely to the future, we rob ourselves of learning what happened before us or earlier in our lives and miss what is happening now. We get so caught up in what will happen we miss what has happened and is happening. It causes fear in our lives because the future is unknown. We do, however, need to be prepared for what is to come. We cannot simply disregard the future and pretend like it isn’t coming. We need to learn all we can and prepare all we can now so we will be ready for what is to come.
If we live too much in the present we will forget those who came before us and not care to learn of them. We also won’t be prepared for the future and find ourselves not knowing what to do. But, we can find the balance. Live right now, enjoy your life right now, and pay attention to those who are part of your life right now. Keep learning of what has happened so you can make your present and future better, prepare yourself so when the future becomes the present you know what to do, and work on bettering yourself now.
Sometimes we don’t realize that the people we have chosen to govern over us aren’t as patriotic as they want us to believe they are. There are differences, however, in how a patriot would govern a society versus how a tyrant governs a society that we can use to determine which is which.
A tyrant makes promises he cannot and does not intend to keep in order to get the people’s vote. A tyrant disregards the constitution and any boundaries it places on him. He tells the people they are free, only so he can enslave them further. He has no interest in the people’s well being, but only in what can benefit himself. However, tyrants are clever. A tyrant will hide behind the shield of “protection and freedom” but his actions prove all he wants is power. A society governed by a tyrant is enslaved, most of the time without realizing it.
A patriot, on the other hand, would have a desire to govern over people not to benefit himself, but to bring liberty to the people he is governing over. He would realize he is making a sacrifice by being willing to govern over the people. A patriot would never promise the people anything that is outside his constitutional boundaries and his sole purpose is to protect the people and make them freer. A patriot studies and learns all that he can about the constitution so he does not cross any boundaries and doesn’t take any liberty away from the people. A patriot knows and studies history, and strives to be as the great men of history, and not repeat any mistakes previously made. Most importantly, a patriot is virtuous. He works to become better daily and, realizing he is not perfect, corrects any mistakes he has made. He cares about those around him, and desires to help them. A patriot loves liberty and wants everyone to know of and obtain it. A society governed by a patriot is free. They thrive, have peace, and are virtuous and happy.
As we look throughout our country’s history, we have been both plagued with “charming” tyrants and blessed with loyal patriots. It’s up to us to decided what we want in the future and to keep it in mind when new candidates are thrust into the public eye. Are they a tyrant, ready to disguise their evils as protection? Or are they a patriot, ready to uphold the values that matter?
Which one are you?
Announcement: We will now put up our entries every Tuesday! Make sure to check back next week for a new post!
In Ayn Rand’s novel Anthem, she creates a society in which the government strips the world of any knowledge that would cause people to think. The people learn from a young age that they cannot think or act for themselves and that they are not an individual at all; they don’t even know the word “I” but only the collective “we”. Though today we are allowed to refer to ourselves as “I” and have a little more freedom than the society in Ayn Rand’s story, we are still being taught to think in such a way that prevents us from reaching our full potential. Like the people in Rand’s novel, we are unaware that there is more than what is being taught in the government issued curriculum and that we are not completely free. This is the case, not to keep us safe, but because if society knew more about liberty and tyranny they would recognize they are not free and put a stop to tyranny, which of course is the opposite of what a tyrant wants. Each and every person is completely unique, and has an unbelievable amount of potential, but if we are told that we can only do so much and limit ourselves, we will never reach our full potential and might never discover what we are truly capable of. Do not allow yourself to be told that people like Patrick Henry, James Madison, or George Washington just don’t exist anymore; you can become that kind of person! Do not allow someone to tell you you are incapable of making a difference because if you have a desire to do so you can accomplish amazing things. If you are willing to put in the hard work required to gaining knowledge and virtue, and disregard all those telling you “you can’t”, liberty can and will be restored.