Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Wishing you joy in simple things

Wishing you joy in simple things

(My Clovis News Journal column for December 20, 2013.)

It's that time of the year again, when all but the most cynical grumps among us feel a bit sentimental and more forgiving toward their fellow humans. It's a time when gifts are given and received, bringing joy to everyone involved. Unless the gift involves terra cotta and chia seeds.

I wish I were rich enough to give everyone around me something tangible which would adequately demonstrate their worth. Since that's not possible, I'll tell you what my wish for each of you would be.

My wish is for you to find joy in the simple things you'll end up spending most of your time doing anyway, and still enjoy the surprises which come along to turn your world on its head.

My wish is for all your relationships to be strictly voluntary and non-coercive. Not only at this time, but throughout the entire year.

My wish is that you realize the ability to have or to do the things you want the very most, and come to understand the only way to have that is to extend the same courtesy to everyone else.

My wish is for you to have just the exact amount of government you are happy to have controlling your life; no more, no less. I wish the same for each and every one of your neighbors. As long as you keep this gift to yourself everyone will be happy. Sort of like those Rudolph underwear you got a few Christmases ago.

My wish is for you to find the joy in discovering that you can get everything done which should be done, voluntarily. My wish is for you to accept that if you have to force people to participate, it's probably not quite as wonderful as you claim. I wish you the peace of letting go of those things you believe everyone else should want, but they don't, even under threat of jail.

My wish is for you to have the ability to make an honest profit by doing what you actually enjoy, so that you'll never "work" a day in your life, and that you'll always have people clamoring at your door to spend their money with you of their own free will. I wish for you the ability to keep everything you earn, safe from thieving hands of any kind.

My wish is for you to be able to worship in any way you like, free from fear of oppression or coercion, but that you never gain the ability to impose your religious ideas on others through law.

Merry Christmas- or the winter solstice holiday of your choice.

Nationalism- ewww!

Nationalism is messed up. It's still messed up even if your country really were "the best" because of how it becomes automatic and blinds you to negative changes.

Suppose you had a "country" that was founded upon rightful liberty, and which only had rules that reflected that.  Sure, those rules would still be unnecessary, but very little harm would come from them.

I could understand some sort of nationalism in your mind toward this "country".

However, if over time, your "country" changed to where rightful liberty was thrown under the train by more and more harmful rules, and you were in such a habit of "loving your country" that you didn't notice the change, then your nationalism becomes a caricature of itself.  You are now cheering a corpse.  A rotting, festering corpse which is spreading disease and killing all those who insist on kissing it on the mouth.  Or wherever.  You now stink just like the corpse.  You appear insane to anyone looking on who is even slightly removed from your beliefs.

That's how nationalism appears to me.