by Lynn Costello
Almost from birth, the journey toward independence begins. For just a short time they are content being carried around in loving arms; soon they begin working tirelessly to stand on their own feet and take their first steps. This phenomenon is especially prevalent at age two and again during the teenage years. A major tool parents use to accommodate this task is “responsibilities.” They begin small and grow along with the child. Assigning responsibilities allows the child to earn trust and learn life-long lessons, leading eventually to independence. This investment in building an independent citizen leads to immeasurable contributions to society and is the foundation for the future. That is how it is supposed to work, but…..
The Federal government has grown beyond its limits and the leviathan has weaved its way into every aspect of our lives. The assumption now is that for every problem and every need our only recourse is to turn to this be-all end-all entity whose only concern is in our best interests. Certainly we need to be told what light bulbs to buy, what healthy foods to eat, how we should run our businesses, how our health care needs should be met, how to attend to our private property and other decisions that now must be made by the experts. The more they give to us the more they take away until we are left with nothing to manage on our own. The dream of being care-free and provided for has taken away the very meaning of life.
As explained in “The Closing of the American Mind” by Allan Bloom: “The road from the state of nature was very long, and nature is distant from us now. A self-sufficient, solitary being must have undergone many changes to become a needy, social one. On the way, the goal of happiness was exchanged for the pursuit of safety and comfort, the means of achieving happiness. Civil society is surely superior to a condition of scarcity and universal war. All this artifice, however, preserves a being who no longer knows what he is, who is so absorbed with existing that he has forgotten his reason for existing, who in the event of actually attaining full security and perfect comfort has no notion of what to do. Progress culminates in the recognition that life is meaningless.”
Our natural state lies in our independence and I don’t know about you, but I want mine back.