If you knew me, in person you might call me straight-laced. Maybe I am, but that’s neither here nor there. I simply live the life I want to live. I want you to do the same. I want people to leave me alone. Not in an isolation sense, but why is it that people feel burdened to comment on all the reasons they think your way of living is ridiculous? If anyone wants to sit down over a cup of coffee and rationally explain why they think I’m wrong or even crazy, I welcome it. If my way of life doesn’t harm you or infringe on your freedoms, you shouldn’t actually care what I’m doing. Same goes for me.
I could argue specifics, but why bother? the arguments have been discussed ad nauseum by much more intelligent people than me. I feel like we live in a society peopled by the desperately bored. That’s my only explanation for why someone would have a morbid fascination with other people’s lives. Morals can’t be legislated. If I believe something is immoral I should have the freedom to say as much, but I shouldn’t have the power to make you comply. That’s in the realm of personal conviction. Once upon a time we were all allowed to live according to our individual convictions. That is the picture of freedom I long for.
I don’t have any problems with working and living around people I fundamentally disagree with and my desire is that others will adopt that concept as well. The only stipulations I would put in place are two simple ideas: you don’t harm others and you don’t expect others to fund your success or failure. Personal Responsibility is a beautiful idea. You have the freedom to succeed or fail based upon your actions. It’s so simple. Are there people who can’t handle such a radical idea? The answer is a resounding yes. People are not pure and perfect, if they were this would be a utopia and all of this would be immaterial. However, if I decided to destroy my life with something as mild as laziness or as extreme as hardcore drug use, I suffer the consequences. I reap the reward of a life wasted in hedonism. There are absolutes in life, but we should all be free to explore them. If I plant a pumpkin seed, I have a reasonable expectation of getting a pumpkin, not an apple tree. There are things in life that have been proven stumbling blocks on the road to success, but if you want to take that detour there should be the optional off ramp. Just because I disagree doesn’t mean I should restrain you.
Out of this liberty, anything can be birthed. Do what you truly want to do, pursue happiness. While you’re on that road don’t tell your fellow travelers what to think and don’t demand they pay for your excursion, just press on toward whatever you’re seeking. Keep your friend Personal Responsibility close.