I am definitely the type of person that likes to know what comes next. When planning for a vacation, I write up a packing list weeks in advance and plan out every little thing I’m going to do. When something new or exciting is coming, I research everything about it so I know exactly what to expect. I don’t like to leave things up to chance and I don’t like to be surprised. If I can, I want to know exactly what to expect when it comes to pretty much everything.
Unfortunately, that’s just not how life works. I am often surprised by what life throws at me. Sometimes I get good surprises, and sometimes I get ones that break my heart. But guess what? That’s ok! This life is a test and if we knew exactly what to expect all the time, then we wouldn’t be challenged to become better because we could plan for exactly what comes next. The real test of someone’s character is how they react when they are given an unanticipated trial. That is when all the planning you’ve done becomes useless and you have to rely on things you have learned from your past and what you have with you in your present. Yes, life can be hard, but Cicero advises that we must, “live as brave men; and if fortune is adverse, front its blows with brave hearts.”
Yes, it is more than okay to plan and to research about what is coming next. But we also have to remember that life often doesn’t go according to plan and if it doesn’t, then we must be brave and do our best amidst our trials. It is ok to not know what to expect, because that is when you will learn the most.
I’m ashamed to admit I am just now realizing how long it has been since America Restored has had a new post. As my high school life ended and I began college and living a more independent life, my focus shifted to other projects and unfortunately it seems this blog got lost in all the craziness that comes with figuring out this new life.
However, in these past months I’ve had a chance to figure out what I want and where I stand. I had a chance to think about all that I had learned from my friends, parents, and teachers and what I wanted to do with the knowledge that I had gained. I’m still young and am just beginning my journey, but as I continue to read the words of those men who knew the truth about virtue and liberty and felt they had a duty to share that truth with the world, they continue to inspire me. When I began America Restored when I was 15, I felt that duty as well. I knew I was being given knowledge that needed to be shared. Now, nearly four years later, my knowledge has grown along with my desire to share it. I read over the words that I have written, both publicly and privately, over those four years and realize that I have always had that desire. My perspective has changed in the time I have been away from America Restored, but my motivation for writing has not.
As we all get older, we will gain more knowledge which in turn will lead us to new perspectives. This does not mean we should change our objectives if they are good, but maybe change the way we approach them. That knowledge that changes the way we see things could be the very thing we need to accomplish our goals.
“All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream buy night in the dusty recesses of their mind, wake in the day to find that it was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they make act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.” ~ T. E. Lawrence
I’ve been thinking a lot recently about how we get things done in the world. I’ve found myself afraid of stepping forward and actually conquering the things I’ve been dreaming about. Even when the opportunity is right in front of me, I will stop the dreams from becoming a reality. It’s like I’m afraid to take my dreams out of the “idea” phase and actually act. Every time I have this fear that it won’t turn out the way I want or that I was dreaming about the wrong things. But someone once told me that that moment of doubt is a sign that you’re doing the right thing. Because evil will consistently try to turn you away from doing real good. We all have those dreams, both simple and complex, that that we wish would see the light of day. But we are afraid to make that step. We are afraid that when the light shines on them, it will reveal something bad. I think that if we ever really want to accomplish anything, we have to make that leap. Doubt should not hold us back, it should push us further.
This week we have a special post on Thursday honoring the memory of a great contributor to the cause of liberty. This post will serve as last Saturday’s and this coming Saturday’s. So make sure to check back on the 26th for our next post! This is also another guest article. If there is ever a topic you want us to discuss, an piece of writing you think we should read, or someone you’d like to hear from, please let us know on our Instagram, Twitter, or email. Thank you for your continued support, Publius.
October 17th marks the 222nd anniversary of the death of John Wilkes.
A patriot and advocate for liberty, he was known and supported among the American rebels especially after his pamphlet series, “The North Briton”, number 45 being of notable fame.
Today, let us carry on the torch of liberty and remember those before us who have sacrificed their lives and sacred honor to allow us even a glimpse of its bright flame. Remember, remember that freedom is worth every drop of blood required to preserve it, for it has been bestowed upon us by that same God who gave us life.
For more information on John Wilkes and how his writings apply to us, check out this article written by a friend of our cause: https://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/constitution/item/20959-john-wilkes-45-and-the-fourth-amendment
The Greek historian Herodotus wrote, “At birth, for every man there is or ever shall be, misfortune is part of the mixture — and the greater the man the greater the misfortune.” It is true that no man is promised a life without trials or sorrows. But I believe that we create our own misfortunes. As he says, the greater man will have much greater misfortunes. On the same page, however, the more good the man, meaning the more virtue one possesses, the better the misfortunes. Just because you are virtuous doesn’t mean life will be void of tribulations. It simply means that you have that ability to get through them. You have somewhere to turn in the event of sadness and strife. You have the knowledge one needs to avoid bad situations. You have the courage to get through the hard times. Because with virtue comes a constant sense of happiness, true happiness. A clean soul will not get stained unless we let it. So we create what misfortunes we encounter, or really what misfortunes we let define us. Something I’ve gotten from reading Herodotus lately is that in his culture, or the one a generation before him that he is writing about, is that they truly believed in a kind of karma. When men did bad things, they had bad things done to them. And there was always a warning that these people just didn’t follow. The good ones did. And they were rewarded for it. Spartan king Leonidus knew he was going to die at the battle of Thermopylae. It was either that or Sparta would be given to the Persians. But he chose his own misfortune. He knew that staying at this battle and sacrificing his life was his duty. He wouldn’t leave as others did. And while he may not have been rewarded in a worldly sense, his people were. He probably got a much better reward in the long run anyways. Because don’t forget that there’s eternal misfortune as well. And people are creating that for themselves everyday.
I’m sure this last week everyone saw the numerous headlines stating the launch of a formal impeachment inquiry of President Trump. Of course, with the emergence of this comes an onslaught of questions being thrown around like what has our president done, what have past presidents done, and even what will be done next? These are all questions that should be asked everyday, but they are avoiding the most important one: what have we, the people, done? Say this inquiry leads to a trial and the president is impeached. Then what? We get another President next year who will be no better than who we have now. This is a cycle that we as a country have felt before. And I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it will never get better. Unless we do something about it. Start questioning the public. The voters. The ones not voting. Question the children and their parents. Question the teachers and the community leaders. Questions yourself. How are you helping the cause? Or even more importantly, how are you encouraging this governmental tragedy? We criticize every move our leaders make but fail to see the fine print. We allow them to overstep. We allow them to break down walls. And we encourage them to do it year after year. So yes. We can “launch an inquiry” into our president and see where it leads. But maybe we should start inquiring about the everyday people a little more frequently. Because one day, we will be on trial too. And that verdict is a lot worse than a four year term cut short.
This past Tuesday, September 17th, was Constitution Day. This day was signed in by President Eisenhower on August 2nd, 1956 with the purpose to promote the study and education of the Constitution, originally written at the 1787 Convention. When thinking back on our constitution and how it came to be, it is hard not to think of the father of the constitution, James Madison. His seemingly endless preparation for the constitutional convention and his dedication to the document once written are some of the most influential reasons as to why the constitution is such a one-of-a-kind document. Though, of course, there is another major reason behind why America was blessed with such an outstanding governing document. Madison once wrote that “It is impossible for the man of pious reflection not to perceive in [the Constitution] the finger of that Almighty hand which has been so frequently and signally extended to our relief….” There is no doubt that a guiding force was present as our country came to be. There was, and is, a blessing placed upon this nation from the very beginning of its foundation.
But nowadays, this is being called into question. The very basis of our country is being attacked day after day. People have begun to doubt just how influential and substantial our constitution is. Not only is this disrespecting all of the research and debate that went into its creation, but it is also blatantly ignoring the divine attention embedded in the document itself. But as much as these enemies try to tear away at our original government, they will never take it down without a fight. There is a group of believers, proud to descend from our founding fathers, who stands in their way.
We are that group. We, who know and recognize the truth; We, who strive for the true freedom it protects; We, who defend our liberty every step of the way; We, who call out their tyranny; We, who will never stop pursuing the dream of our fathers. We the people.
On this Constitution Day, and every single day after, stand up for our country, what Madison and the other founders meant it to be. Make them proud.
Happiness is a topic we have discussed multiple times, but it seems fitting to bring it up again. I recently had shared with me a letter Thomas Gordon wrote on this very subject. In it, he asserts that “imaginary happiness is a poor amends for the want of real.” I have recently found myself getting caught up in the crowds around me and moving more towards this imaginary happiness. I think that it can be easy to get them confused sometimes. Especially when all around you, people seem to be happy following their own path. So maybe you try to follow it yourself. Or you think you have found happiness in similar places and try to pursue them again. Only you come to realize that what is true for one situation may not be for another. I thought I knew where to find real happiness where I am, but I kept getting disappointed. I’m still getting disappointed. Gordon also writes that “he who aims not at an elevated lot, is happier than he, who, having it, fears to lose it.” I feel like like I’m losing my place, where ever it may be, and because of it, I can’t find my true happiness. And I think a lot of the problem is that I pinned my happiness on others. I was, and still kind of am, looking for reassurance and praise for what I do. I sought out the outlets where I had found it the most, and they turned up empty. So now I am lost. But I know that I can find my way again. Gordon finally surmises that “ Happiness is therefore from within just as much as virtue; and the virtuous man enjoys the most.” Happiness is a goal we must reach towards. The Greek root of the word means “good soul state” and just like virtue, that state can be a struggle to get to. It all depends on how much you are willing to work. If it is a goal you truly desire, the effort will not be in vain. That does not mean it will come easy. It just means that it will be worth it. And you can find little victories along the way. A little happiness and virtue can cleanse your spirit even if it isn’t perfect. I want everyone to know that they are not alone in this struggle. We may be the voices telling you what steps to take and what path is the right to follow, but that’s because we too are making those decisions. We are learning with you. And we are not perfect. We stumble. We fall. And we sometimes feel lost. But then we turn to those around us who help us find our footing again. We are all in this battle together. We get told we are alone by those who want to tear us down. But happiness is achievable. Virtue is achievable. If we help each other along the way, we have nothing to fear. So don’t be afraid to reach out for help if you feel lost like I did, well, am. And don’t be afraid to reach out to help if you see someone lost, either. I look forward to continuing on this journey with all of you by my side.
I have recently found myself in a new environment and have been thinking about how to broach the subjects on which we discuss so frequently with people unfamiliar with the cause. I have kind of been anticipating and dreading the eventual moments when things like politics or the constitution are brought into conversation. Will anyone else understand? And will they even want to listen? What if it just ruins things?
I found myself looking back through my copy of Plato’s Gorgias and came across a passage where he describes how to have proper rhetoric. Socrates states that “A teacher passes his expertise on for his pupils to use when it is morally appropriate to do so-which is to say, defensively, not aggressively, and against people who wish them harm and do them wrong”. There will be a time when my knowledge, when all of our knowledge, will be called into question and we will have to defend it. But it is important to recognize when it is appropriate. And it may seem like that could be difficult. How do you know we to speak out and when to hold your tongue?
In truth, “we” kind of don’t. But the spirit does. We will be told/prompted when the time is right. And sometimes the people we talk with aren’t the right ones. Not everyone is prepared to take in this message. But the spirit will guide us to the right people. We should never turn down a prompting. And we should always be ready for a prompting.
And maybe there will be contention when you bring up your beliefs. But we have to remember to not be aggressive. We’re not trying to force our ideals on anyone. The people that deal in force are “trying to win the argument rather than look into the issue they set out to discuss”. Argument leads to anger leads to unclear minds. We can’t enter into these conversations hoping to “win”, only hoping to educate.
So I am still anxiously awaiting the day when I am prompted to share this information. I know that I have important things to say, and I trust that I will say them to the right people. With this knowledge, we have the responsibility to share this with others. We just need to remember the proper way.
Hello, everyone! Due to some schedule changes in our lives, Tuesday is no longer the best day to post new entries. Starting this week, the weekly updates will be posted on Saturdays. We hope that you continue to stick with us as we continue to spread out message. Thank you for all of your support! See you Saturday!