Our chief individual and collective fault derives from our acceptance of the world as it is. We allow “it”. We elect our political leaders year after year and wonder why nothing changes. We demand fiscal responsibility unless it negatively impacts us. How many people would want their aging parents to move into their homes if social security or Medicare were cut? We want our veterans properly treated but we rarely question the foreign entanglements and wars that kill and maim them. We allow banks to make profits in good times, but then bail out those same banks when they get in financial trouble because they are “systemically” important. Socialized costs shared by all of us while the profits are privatized.
We need to develop a radical sense of responsibility. No one owes anyone anything. Self-reliance is its own reward. Choose to think for yourself and be independent. Thinking for yourself, has as its primary obligation, accepting that the “way things are”, is only possible, if you refuse to see the truth, and fail to act. Do not blindly accept truth from those in authority. Your only authority is your conscience. Give up the resentments and the blame for all political and personal wrongs. No one is responsible for making you happy, content, safe, or profitable. Your resentments, however justified, cannot change someone else’s actions or thoughts. More importantly your resentments only hurt you. We, individually and collectively, are the problem, but we are also the solution.
Most people do not really want freedom, because freedom involves responsibilities, and most people are frightened of them.
Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
Freedom makes a huge requirement of every human being. With freedom comes responsibility. For the person who is unwilling to grow up, the person who does not want to carry his own weight, this is a frightening prospect.
You may believe that you are responsible for what you do, but not for what you think. The truth is that you are responsible for what you think, because it is only at this level that you can exercise choice. What you do comes from what you think.
The victim mindset dilutes the human potential. By not accepting personal responsibility for our circumstances, we greatly reduce our power to change them.
Learn to distinguish the difference between errors of knowledge and breaches of morality. An error of knowledge is not a moral flaw, provided you are willing to correct it; only a mystic would judge human beings by the standard of an impossible, automatic omniscience. But a breach of morality is the conscious choice of an action you know to be evil, or a willful evasion of knowledge, a suspension of sight and of thought. That which you do not know, is not a moral charge against you; but that which you refuse to know, is an account of infamy growing in your soul. Make every allowance for errors of knowledge; do not forgive or accept any break of morality.
Whoever will be free must make himself free. Freedom is no fairy gift to fall into a man’s lap. What is freedom? To have the will to be responsible for one’s self.
Because while the truncheon may be used in lieu of conversation, words will always retain their power. Words offer the means to meaning, and for those who will listen, the enunciation of truth. And the truth is, there is something terribly wrong with this country, isn’t there? Cruelty and injustice, intolerance and oppression. And where once you had the freedom to object, to think and speak as you saw fit, you now have censors and systems of surveillance coercing your conformity and soliciting your submission. How did this happen? Who’s to blame? Well certainly there are those more responsible than others, and they will be held accountable, but again truth be told, if you’re looking for the guilty, you need only look into a mirror. I know why you did it. I know you were afraid. Who wouldn’t be? War, terror, disease. There were a myriad of problems which conspired to corrupt your reason and rob you of your common sense.