Sunday, December 31, 2017

Comfort shouldn't impose on others

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for November 29, 2017)

Everyone likes to be comfortable and avoids discomfort when possible. It's human nature. Yet your quest for comfort doesn't give you the right to make everyone else uncomfortable. If you are uncomfortable, change your own situation; don't demand others make themselves uncomfortable for you.

While the world is under no obligation to change to make you happy, it also has no right to impose its own version of what's best on you. As long as you aren't harming anyone, you have no obligation to change.

If you are in someone's house, chilly though they are comfortable, it is up to you to put on a jacket rather than insist they turn up the heat. You don't pay their heating bill.

However, if you are wearing a coat to stay warm in their house, your hosts would be uncivilized to demand you remove it. Even if they insist the temperature is fine with everyone else, so it should be fine for you, too. If you dismiss the suggestion to remove your coat, and they tackle you and forcibly take it off you, they are bullies.

When I lived in the coldest part of Colorado, I had a friend who had no heat in his house. When it was 20 below zero, or colder-- as it often was-- it wasn't much warmer in his house. I would offer to have him come to my house, just across the river, but he didn't want to. He said my wood stove made him uncomfortably hot. He also said he didn't want to get used to the warmth because it would make him feel colder at home. So I would go visit him wearing my coat. If I got too cold, I went home without demanding he "do something" to appease me.

Yet this is the demand believers in government make. They can't seem to grasp the idea of accepting responsibility for themselves and allowing others the same dignity. If they are uncomfortable, they insist on making everything the way they want it, no matter who is hurt. Their comfort is all that matters to them, and they'll justify any harm by saying it's for your own good.

This is probably why they see libertarians as a threat when we say they can keep their government, we just want to opt out. They seem to project their own shortcomings on everyone else because they can't imagine leaving others alone to determine their own lives.

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So long, 2017

Here it is. The last day of this arbitrary cycle of 365+ days.

I hope the past cycle of days was a good one for you; I hope the coming cycle is better.

I've been hosting some lovely influenza viruses who hijacked my cells to reproduce themselves, but I seem to be mostly over it now. So, that's a good thing.

Onward, into the future.

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