“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.
“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.
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.