Sunday, August 2, 2009

A Tree That Grows For Ages, Hurting No One

As I gear up for my second post on this blog, I'd like to share one of my favorite lines from any song, of any kind, that I have ever heard:
My longing:
Not to be a god or hero, but to change
Into a tree that grows for ages, hurting no one
(It is from a song called "She's All Heart", written by Terry Taylor of the band Daniel Amos.)

I have a root, that anchors me to the ground. That root is my wife. I've known my wife closely for going on nine years now, and I've never once heard her express a desire to leave the Philadelphia area. Ergo, I am rooted in Philadelphia. I am a voluntaryist, but I have no real desire to bring the light of voluntaryism to any place other than the Philadelphia region. I wish that everyone, all over the world, understood and lived out the principles of voluntaryism, but until everyone in the Philadelphia region can live free from the fear of government force being initiated against them, I leave the project of bringing "the light" to other places in the world, to the people who live in those places:
Why do you see the speck in your neighbor’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? Or how can you say to your neighbor, “Let me take the speck out of your eye”, while the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbour’s eye. (Matthew 7:3-5)
When you see faulty reasoning being acted on, constantly, and everywhere you turn, it is very tempting to attack the faulty reasoning, to attempt to correct it. The instinct to reach outside of yourself, outside of the place where you live, is almost overwhelming. We want to take our sound reasoning, that is in our heads, and spread it. But the attitude of the passage above (a quote from Jesus, if you're not sure what Matthew is) is one in which we are extremely slow to point out faults in others, and very quick to examine ourselves for faults. If you adopt this stance, you will be always watching, always listening, and very occasionally speaking.

A lot of smart people have thought about how society can be made better. I've heard about strategies and tactics for undermining the State. I've heard about how evil the State is, how much violence it does, how badly it distorts the truth, etc. But here's a problem, with thinking that way: the people of the Philadelphia region are extremely divided. The State has exacerbated this over the years, but the fact is that people fear those who are different from them. We are divided by wealth levels, race, religion, and many other things. We need to meet each other, find out about each other, and forge deep and strong bonds with each other, which will allow us to weather together the storms that naturally buffet those who stand for the truth.

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