Friday, October 09, 2009

How do you react?

How do you react?

I think that how you react to others whose beliefs, habits, or lives may differ from your own goes a long ways toward showing how willing you are to leave people alone to live their own lives as they see fit as long as they are harming no innocent person.

Just a few examples from my own life:

I was once standing in line at a counter when the person in front of me pulled money from his pocket and as he did, a small bag of marijuana fell to the floor. He didn't realize it had fallen out and I quickly scooped it up and tapped his shoulder, saying "You dropped this". He was incredibly grateful.

On a couple of occasions I have had men express an interest in me. I just say I am not interested without making an issue of it. It is no different than having a woman express an interest in me if I am not interested in her. There is no need to get "all macho" and offended over it, and certainly no reason to threaten to beat anyone up as I have seen happen.

A former wife of mine worked in a convenience store and kept bragging that she would call the cops on anyone (other than a LEO) she saw with a gun in "her" store. (Of course, she never complained about my armed presence during the overnight shifts when she worked alone!) One day, after she had finished waiting on one particular man and he had left the store, I casually asked why she hadn't thrown him out or called the cops on him. She claimed she didn't see the (rather large and obvious) revolver on his belt. I just mentioned that she might want to pay closer attention to her surroundings if she wanted to stay safe. Personally, I think it was all bravado on her part, and she had no intention of doing any such thing. Still, I wanted to say so much more than I did.

This isn't to say I have always taken the best course, especially during my teenage years. Life is a journey, and all any of us can do is keep improving. Don't beat yourself up over things in the past that you can't do over or fix.

Property rights and staying consistent

Property rights and staying consistent

Whatever you insist on for yourself, rights-wise, you must be willing to accept for others. You can not make one claim for yourself, but have different parameters for everyone else. Otherwise you become like the statists.

My "Bubble Theory of Personal Property Rights" is not popular, but even if it means I am not welcome very many places, it is still the way I will relate to anyone I invite to my property. If you come to my house by invitation, what is in your "bubble" is none of my business as long as it doesn't break out, and my property rights do not penetrate that space of yours which goes from the outer surface of your clothing on one side to the same surface on the opposite side of you. If I don't like that, no one is forcing me to allow, or invite, anyone and their "bubble" on my property. That is why cops are never welcome on my property.

While I see my own property rights views in an almost concrete fashion, like a solid sculpture that has sharp, well-defined surfaces, I see the other point of view as a fuzzy, wispy phantasm, made up of "yes, buts", "in this cases", and "if, thens", and depending upon which way the wind is blowing at the moment. It seems very fluid and indefinite.

I can see the point that has been made that other people's real-estate rights are supreme to bodily property rights to some people. I don't understand it, and I doubt I will ever actually believe it, since bodily property rights are the source of all rights, and just as you can have no hangnails without hands or feet, neither can real estate property rights exist apart from bodily property rights. However, if that is how others see it, I will try to respect that view and behave as though I agree.

This column is an educational exercise for me, after all. Sometimes, if you find yourself in the minority it may mean you are wrong.

This means I now have to make some hard choices. The reality is that under this view I am no longer able to leave my property without violating my responsibilities in one way or another. That is a disheartening realization, but principles are principles, and consistency is vital.