(My Clovis News Journal column for January 9, 2015)
There is a balance to life. I love when my son comes to visit, even though it means I'll feel sadness when he has to head home again. The joy of his presence is worth the pain of his departure.
All of life is a trade-off like this. Don't allow your desire to avoid pain or sadness rob you of opportunities for joy.
A free society would also bring some pain, but just like a short visit from a loved one, the pain would be worth the gains. To enjoy the benefits of liberty you have to take the initiative to push through the pain. It won't be as bad as you have built it up to be in your imagination.
You might miss your secure government job, until you realize having more options brings more real security in the long run. And more wealth.
You might miss your entitlements and those government benefits you believe you have earned, until you realize how insignificant and inadequate those are compared to what you could provide for yourself without the barriers erected all around you "for your own good".
You might feel insecure without tax-financed protection rackets, until you discover how those actually propped up the very things you feared, and how much better you can provide for your own protection when self-defense is no longer criminalized. No one is as motivated to protect you and your property as you are; hired protection can always be bought off and will always have divided loyalties- at best. That's natural. It's a poor substitute for taking responsibility for your own safety.
Liberty would require some adjustments and they wouldn't be instant or without discomfort.
Any temporary discomfort caused by the loss of your chains would be quickly overshadowed by the opportunities liberty presents. Don't let the fear or pain hold you back. That's like refusing to let your son come visit because you don't want to be sad when the time comes for him to leave.
Thomas Jefferson observed: "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than those attending too small a degree of it." What has happened to 21st Century Americans to make us so frightened of "what ifs" and imagined inconveniences that we flee from precious liberty and trade it for false security? As Benjamin Franklin wrote: "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." And, I'll add, they'll have neither.
Be up to the challenge. Push through any pain to get to the good things on the other side. Deserve liberty and take it. It's up to you.