Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Me, my flaws, and Liberty

(Previously posted to Patreon)

I'm ridiculous. I'm absurd. I've been told I'm smug. I'm definitely stubborn. I won't bend when I think I'm right- especially after I have thought it through from the other guy's perspective and concluded, in spite of various objections, I was right all along.

I've done bad things. I've done things I don't think were bad, but others would. I've done good things that turned out badly. Occasionally I may even do something good that goes well for me.

I've stuck to my principles. I have violated my principles. I've accepted consequences and I've complained about consequences. I've felt powerful and I've felt helpless.

I dress funny. I don't fit in. A former wife said I only refuse to dress like everyone else for attention. Maybe she was right.

I have succeeded and I have failed miserably.

I haven't been able to liberate my relatives as much as I wish. I hate seeing them hurting themselves just because they are afraid to have something better. Or, even worse, because "it's always been this way and it's not going to change". That's the saddest excuse of all, even worse than when they use their religion to justify support for The State. I have come to grips with the fact I can't be responsible for the choices others make- no matter how painful or embarrassing they are.

And in spite of all that, liberty works for me. Personally. In the day-to-day real world. Not perfectly, by any means, but better than the alternative that everyone else seems to settle for. Liberty, when put into practice, just works.

If it can work with all my obvious shortcomings, it can work for you.

You just have to live it.

Sure, I could be a better spokesperson for liberty. I could shave, cut my hair, and wear "professional" clothes. I could ditch the hats, the 19th Century clothing, and get up-to-date spectacles, or contacts. I could learn to speak better, maybe even without sounding vaguely Bullwinkle-ish. I could take courses on "How to win friends and influence people"; on persuasion. I could get a "real job" to show that liberty doesn't necessarily mean being broke.

Those changes might make me a better liberty spokesperson, but I wouldn't be comfortable- well, other than having more money. And what good is liberty if you can't enjoy it?

I could be more polite in the face of bullies and their rules. I could be nicer to those who advocate bullying me and taking my property- they "mean well", I am told. I should respect their opinions more.

On the other hand, if those are changes you believe I should make, perhaps you should consider being the me I can't be- better than me. Be the spokesperson for liberty you wish I could be.

You might be the missing element. The catalyst. You might be the one to make the difference I could never make with all my flaws. You'll never know until you do it.

So, do it.