Tuesday, August 11, 2015

What you do is no one's business

Yes, please do.

What you do is no one's business

(My Clovis News Journal column for July 10, 2015. This one never got put online at the CNJ website, as it had the misfortune to be published the day they are cyberattacked. But here it is now.)

Everyone is looking for more of the things they love; things to bring some joy into their life. Everyone's joy, and the things which trigger it, is different, and that's not only OK, it's great.

I love a lot of things, including, but not limited to, certain people, wildlife, karaoke, wilderness trails, mountains, deserts, forests, liberty, functional antiques, guns, knives, and swords. And, if you know me, I'm sure you already suspected I love hats.

Whatever it is you love, it is wonderful to find people who love some of the same things-- to have someone with whom to share your enjoyment. Shared joy is one of the greatest human experiences. Sometimes others can also introduce you to things you never thought about exploring, and when you're lucky you might even find something new to love.

If not, thank them for their time and move on.

No matter how different we are, you and I probably share some common interests. We may even love some of the same things, or one of us may be waiting for an introduction to something we don't yet know we would love, and which we would then have in common. You never know until you try. Discovery is one of the great things about being alive.

But even if I don't love something you love, I am perfectly happy to not interfere with things which bring you joy. I have no desire to regulate away your fun, even if it's something I really don't like. Not even if it annoys me in some way. Because as long as you don't violate someone or their property you have the absolute right to do whatever you want, regardless of my opinion or the law. No matter whether I understand it or your attraction to it, or even if I think a person would have to be crazy to like what you like.

I would never send the law after you for doing something which "neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg", as Thomas Jefferson said. All he meant by this is that if what you do doesn't aggress against anyone nor against their private property, it isn't anyone's business. I am content to let you pursue your happiness. Even, in many cases, if you don't respect the same liberty in others. Someone has to take the first step toward being civilized, after all.

If what you enjoy involves violating people or property, though, I think you need a new hobby, and I hope someone defends themselves from your aggression. There is a universe of great things out there. Don't waste your time violating others.