Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Bad guys win if we live in fear

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for September 6, 2017)

In the aftermath of the library shootings, the community seemed plagued by fear for days. Fortunately, it seems to have mostly passed. Yes, a very bad thing happened, but do you want fear to limit your life? It's your choice.

Every bad thing that happens, happens to good people. If it happened only to bad people, it wouldn't be a bad thing.

Bad things will happen to you. It's guaranteed. Your worst day will start off feeling just like every other day. You will never see that day coming.

Knowing this, isn't it reasonable to be afraid?

Maybe. I don't know. But, I'm not afraid. Unfocused fear is a waste.

What I suggest is to accept reality. Yes, bad things can happen, and will. You can still take steps to protect yourself. You can commit yourself to helping and defending others. You can listen to your gut, and when it says to avoid someone, follow its advice. Be ready to handle bad things when they arrive and can't be prevented. Nothing will guarantee your safety. It's still better than doing nothing.

Don't hurt people or take their stuff. It's kindergarten level philosophy, but it's still right for every person of every age, and often forgotten by adults.

Move beyond regrets. If there's something from the past you regret, deal with it if you can and let it go if you can't. Don't do new things you'll regret. If there's something you may regret, which you don't believe you can completely avoid doing, put it off until tomorrow. Then tomorrow you can put it off again. See, procrastination can be good for something.

Fear is a reaction to the unknown, especially unknowns that could hurt. Everything is unknown to some degree. It's a fairy tale to believe you really know what your day holds in store, no matter how carefully you have planned. Yet, your daily routine and plans probably help you keep fear at bay. So plan. Hope for the best while being prepared for the worst. In this way you have a chance to make the worst not quite as bad.

Wouldn't it be better to refuse to be afraid?

There are bad people out there who want you to be afraid. Your fear rewards them. Don't pay the fear tax they crave. If you are afraid, they win. If you restrict your life because you fear their presence, they win. I don't want the bad guys to win. Do you?

Thank you for helping support KentforLiberty.com. Please help out if you can.

Follow me on Steemit

Mourning the women who touched our lives

(A "special edition" Eastern New Mexico News Sunday column for September 3, 2017)

How do you tell your daughter, on her tenth birthday, that her friend has been murdered? There isn't a good way, but I was forced to give it my best shot last week. I know I wasn't the only one; a lot of grieving parents around here shared the same experience with their children.

My daughter grew up with Miss Krissie at the library. The love she showed all the kids who came to share her world of books and crafts made her a favorite. I sat through many a Preschool Storyhour, even after my daughter got too old to really be interested in the juvenile books which were read each week. She loved Miss Krissie and wanted to be there anyway, just to see her. Just to hug her and talk with her.

Life gets busy, children grow, routines change, and new activities replace old favorites. It has been a while since we sat on the rug in the craft room, facing the magical, colorful chair which served as Miss Krissie's throne while she read to the kids. But, still, every time we went to the library, Miss Krissie was the one my daughter wanted to see.

We didn't know Wanda as well, but it seemed she was always there. Always interested in anything my daughter had to say when we went to the counter. She asked questions and acted like whatever my daughter told her was the most important thing she'd heard all day. That kind of interest makes an impact on kids who may suspect most adults are only humoring them.

I grieve the two caring women who lost their lives, and I hope the four others who were injured recover as quickly as possible.

Acts such as this one, which robbed the children of Clovis of a wonderful friend, are often characterized as "senseless". But they are worse than that. Hurricanes and earthquakes and accidents are senseless. Murders are malevolent. There is simply no excuse which justifies it.

I might disagree with how libraries are commonly funded, but I have always valued them. And the people who work in them. This crime hurt.

I try to not be angry. Anger doesn't solve anything. Sadness probably doesn't help much, either, but I won't feel guilty for it. I'm just going to be sad with my daughter and help her through it the best I can. I believe it's what Miss Krissie would want.

Thank you for being my daughter's friend, Miss Krissie.

Thank you for helping support KentforLiberty.com

Follow me on Steemit

Statism is extremism

It's strange to me how libertarians (we who are "aVal") are called "extreme" when the opposite is clearly the case.

For example:

One type of statist wants walls around everything. They don't stop with their houses, and private property, but want walls even around other people's property, in the form of "national borders" with actual physical walls, if possible.

The other type of statist doesn't stop at objecting to walls along "national borders", but doesn't even believe in private property, and therefore doesn't want you to exclude anyone from anywhere; it wouldn't be "fair".

Sure, there are degrees of extremism even among those poles of statism, but they are all comparatively extreme.

Only those who walk the line of reasonableness between the extremes manage to balance their principles where they need to be: walls around the property YOU own and control, and nowhere else.

The same goes for every other "issue" where liberty lovers are called "extreme".

Just look at any issue-- guns, drugs, trade, whatever-- and notice how extreme the statists are, and how reasonable, with regard to reality and human nature, libertarians are. This is because liberty is self-regulating. As it should be. And, that leaves the statists no room in which to rule the world, and they don't like it. Too bad; so sad. Reality doesn't care about anyone's feelings.

Thank you for helping support KentforLiberty.com

Follow me on Steemit