You don’t have be a pessimist to sense that the battle for the soul of America has ramped up sharply over the past few years.
Politically, economically, spiritually and culturally, society continues to drift away from the foundational principles upon which our liberty was established.
Too many Americans have been trained for generations to see government at all levels as the solution to all of life’s problems.
Too few Americans have yet to recognize that government’s collectivist solutions nearly always exacerbate existing problems because force is the only real tool the state has at its disposal.
Being forced to do the right thing is as damaging to real freedom as being seduced into doing the wrong thing.
So what options does that leave to those who are determined to preserve our liberties? How can we cause a profound enough shift in our society to correct our course?
The answer is found in our willingness to rectify our own lives first by developing our personal character and embodying our proclaimed standards.
In other words, the solutions we seek will not come about by electing a certain politician or passing a particular law or attending a specific political rally.
The only changes that will ultimately make the difference in the clash between liberty and statism are those that begin at the individual level where political influence cannot co-opt and misdirect our efforts.
The first step to becoming the best person we can starts with taking responsibility for our own thinking and that can only take place when we discover the value of becoming truly educated. This type of education is most often gained, not in a formal classroom setting, but in the solitude of personal time spent studying the works of the world’s greatest thinkers.
A person who learns to read, write, speak, listen, understand and think is not dependent upon experts to do his thinking for him.
A person who consciously strives to live their life with a sense of personal mission is far more capable of affecting real change in the world than those who prefer to told what to do and how to live their lives.
We often discount the power of example. Yet each of us can point to specific individuals whose influence has directly or indirectly moved our lives in a more meaningful direction.
The real challenge is to become that person who is willing to do something difficult, costly or courageous without regard to personal gain. This is a concept known as public virtue, and when it’s found in abundance in a society, freedom flourishes.
It’s nearly impossible to find public virtue in the halls of power today, but it still works miracles on the individual and community level. We cannot continue to think of ourselves as mere common citizens.
When we are personally willing to live lives of uncommon service and integrity, we will find, to our surprise, that we are affecting real and lasting change. We’ll also find that there are many others who have been waiting for our example to point the way.
Waiting for someone else to act is no longer an option.
The person most likely to save our nation is the one you see in the mirror.
Bryan Hyde is a husband, father, disciple, teacher, guardian, reader, writer, truth seeker, stirrer of pots, radio talk show host, and PITA to those who seek dominion over others. He’s also a proud member of the Pro-Freedom Conspiracy.
He does professional voice work through his company One Clear Voice. He is also a frequent and popular contributor to St. George News.
Bryan and his wife Becky are raising their six children in Cedar City, Utah.
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