Life is a growth process. We are born ignorant, and our lives, if we're lucky, proceed through discovery, education and enlightenment. Each new generation adds a few pages to humanity's "Book of Knowledge."
Consequently there is an overall human, "Reference of Intelligence," or "Awareness of Reality," that is constantly growing. This intelligence fills books in libraries, and the collective minds of thousands of intelligent people, who see beyond their own personal interests. Thus the advance of civilization is also a growth process. Unfortunately many young people are not given to understand this until their dies have been cast.
Education is a process of giving up ignorance, and learning to control one's activities in accordance with the facts of life. Educators, who attempt to distort education for some perceived political gain, are the scourge of civilization. Our universities can become babysitters of degenerate youth, or developers of genius for the future. Human beings were never born to be subjugated or controlled, but to develop, grow, understand and blossom in an epiphany of self realization. This epiphany doesn't demand that one be a captain of industry. To be a simple caretaker of one's flock in a free society can be a fulfilling, satisfying, real contribution.
For centuries the only thing people saw as worth pursuing was domination. Those who dominated had wealth. Those who could not dominate had nothing. Whenever civilization gained a new insight giving mankind the ability to take a meaningful forward step, it was never done by a government, or other dominator, but by the curious mind of a single individual. Gutenberg, Tesla, the Wright Brothers, Einstein, to name but a few, were trying for nothing beyond satisfying their own curious minds.
The bane of progress has been the rulers, who in maintaining their power must limit the liberties of the populace. Those in power have little desire for new ideas, especially those that upset their apple carts. Their only motive is to maintain control over the masses. Tyrants around the world fill the history books, and stifle progress.
America was far enough from European dominators, to enable it to establish its control by the people. We were thusly established to insure freedom to our citizenry. It has never been our purpose to give control of the country to any king or cabal. The more government pursues controlling our lives, the more likely we are to deteriorate back to a modern day dark ages.
Americans have traditionally been raised with the desire to become complete, fully developed masters of their own lives. This uniqueness has spurred our growth to become the greatest nation the world has ever seen. It has also set us up as a target for those seeking control of wealth. Some politicians decry the wealth held by some of our more successful people. It would be interesting to know how much wealth is personally controlled by those same politicians. The wealthy people we should avoid are not those who use their wealth to advance their companies, but those who use it to limit our liberties. We have both kinds.
Tyrants around the world loathe the freedoms Americans enjoy. It breeds restlessness in their populations, who become increasingly difficult to control. We enjoy a system whose time has come. If we allow its takeover by self aggrandizing would-be rulers, we will set back the growth of civilization by generations. The destiny of America is not to control the world, but to lead it to the freedom and fulfillment of humanity.
There are people who cannot take care of themselves and must be cared for. There are also people who must be restrained in their wild rampages, whether in the dark alley or the boardroom. These folks in either category are not the majority. The great majority of us are able bodied, able minded, basically honest and trusting. We can take care of the minority of both extremes in our society without giving the government control over our industries, organizations and very lives. The idea that a government will, or even can, create a society where everyone is on easy street with no hardship is a fairy tale for children.
We are now on the threshold of some of the greatest developments for mankind. The human mind is a looming frontier on the verge of its new becoming. We still have little idea of the possibilities of fully developed humans, in command of their own potential. The forces of containment and the limiting of discovery can never win, because suppressing the truth is like trying to prevent boiling water from emitting steam.
Our freedom produces outstanding, understanding people. We must not let any would-be king gain a throne on the pretense, or even good intention of saving us all. Fishermen will never all catch the same number of fish, unless the fish are controlled by a fish allotter. That makes the whole sport of fishing a farce. It dulls incentive and interest in fishing. People are not meant to be kept children. Let's not give the control of our government over to the children until they reach adulthood. May God bless and keep America.
Richard Westlund is a Collins resident. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org