Do you want freedom? How bad?

How bad do you want to be free? Oh, you do want to be free! Congratulations, you’re the only one. Nobody else wants you to be free. Not your partner, not your parents, not your government. The world does not want you to be free. It wants control. People want control over others because it makes them feel comfortable. The actions of others become predictable.  Uncertainty goes hand in hand with liberty. Free choice is a scary proposition because people might make the wrong choice. So what should freedom -loving people do?

In a word, PUSH. You must push back against those who would rob you of your freedom. And you will find those people all around you. In fact, if you think about it, life is all about pushing towards a desire and the resistance that comes along with you reaching your desire. Push, push push. Push everyday and don’t stop because the satisfaction level you achieve in your life is the direct result of how free you become. Freedom offers choices. Slavery offers certainty.  Your choice. Keep pushing for freedom.

On Liberty…

I would suggest liberty is out of fashion. Who fights for it? Few do. How many prominent leaders or politicians are touting self-reliance and privacy? Almost none. In fact, most of today’s so-called thought leaders and elected officials are preaching income equality and trying to ban cash instead of reducing taxation and promoting freedom to transact with anyone. The answer to the problem of a weak economy and income disparity is not more restrictions on individuals. The answer is not more social welfare programs. It’s not more stimulus or extending credit to the large banks via the Federal Reserve. The answer is more liberty.

There is an innate desire in humans to believe they are in control of their lives. Study after study shows that true happiness for a person comes when they believe they free to shape their own destiny. So this begs the question, why do we continue to elect people who expand government? All government is, after all, the opposite of liberty. It is the antithesis. So why does it grow if people want to be free? One word: fear. People are afraid of many things, but mostly they are fearful of each other. James Madison, architect of the Constitution, famously stated, “If men were angels, no government would be necessary.” True. Mankind is not angelic. Watch any news channel for five minutes and you’ll know this is true.

So, we decide to surrender our liberties to another entity for protection. We delegate our right to self-defense to a third party. We delegate charity to a third party. We allow a third party to rob us through taxation in the name of fairness. We allow banks and government to regulate how much legal tender we can have and deposit without being molested. We allow our privacy to become extinct through mass data collection by government agencies. Why? Because we have been groomed to be afraid: afraid of drug dealers. Afraid of terrorists. Afraid of wild gunmen. Afraid of the greedy rich.

I would argue that most of all we are afraid of the free market, of self-reliance. Providing value in the marketplace through voluntary transaction is a scary proposition. (It’s much easier to know that we have a net to catch us if we fall. A net to protect us from the bad guys.) But as that net grows, it blocks the rays of liberty that cause all living things to grow. I urge you to embrace the fear of self-determination. Self-reliance is a virtue, not a dirty thing. The next time your hear a politician talk about keeping you safe, eliminating cash because of “illegal” transactions, providing a safety net for the poor, free education for all, or the need for “NEW LAWS”… run away as fast as you can. Think scam artist. Their intentions may be pure, but the consequences will be diminished liberty. Diminished self-determination. Diminished happiness.

So if you are faced with the choice of comfort versus freedom…choose freedom every time. No one can make you safe or comfortable except you.

Living with Pain

What if everyday you woke up with terrible pain? What if it took you a scolding hot shower just to get mobile? What would you do if you had to keep moving to keep the pain down? What if the drugs recommended by doctors would kill your gut and immune system? What if you are an athlete and could never let the pain show? What if you’re a parent? What if people depended on you being strong?

What would happen if people knew there was a chink in your armor? How would they see you? What would they say? Why do you need to be strong all the time? Why do you need to hide the pain? What if you knew that nothing lasted forever-including pain? How would you act? What would you do?  What if you knew that you are the cause of the pain? What would you eat? What would you do?

What if you needed pain in your life to make you grow? What if you are really a superhero? What if even Superman and Thor are not invincible? What if they felt pain just like you? What if you could ask them what to do? What would they say? What would you do differently? What would you do differently if you knew those whom depended on you could know what pain you were in? What if pain isn’t always physical? What if it’s part of the human experience? What if we need pain in our lives?

What if life was about the struggle with pain? What if it’s part of the game? How will you win?