“Learn to value yourself: which means, fight for your happiness” -Ayn Rand
Without freedom of speech, freedom of commerce, freedom of association, freedom of belief, freedom to produce, freedom to own, the happiness you pursue, the fun you have had and will have, the success that you are willing to work for, the memories with family, the friends and memories that have turned them into family, would not exist.
For graduates of the class of 2013, some of which are currently celebrating in my own and many other neighborhoods, I do not write today to crush your memories, your fun, or to crush your spirit, but instead, to plea for your value in what you seek, to stand up for it, and to to fight for it.
Ann Kazimirski survived the holocaust and dedicated her life’s work to delivering this lesson she was forced to learn through experience to others so that they would not have suffer the consequence, but instead, reap the reward.
“I was seventeen years old when the Germans invaded Poland. My father and my eighteen-year-old brother Benny were among the first group of Jews to be rounded up and then executed in the town prison.
“I saw my best friend Sarah being raped by German soldiers. As a result of this brutality she died… Fifty years later, I still cannot forget the scenes of incredible brutality, torture and killing that my eyes witnessed. The same questions repeat themselves over and over again after all these years: Why? Why were so many people killed and why did the world choose to remain silent?”
To put value in something and/or someone is the action upon presumption one has the freedom to do so, which is self-evident by your very existence.
To value Liberty is to understand Liberty, and for many, to have experienced a life with and without Liberty.
For those readers who have ventured into a Libertarian forum and stayed, you have likely heard many Libertarians mention and remember a tipping point in which their ideas began to change. Whether the spark was an individual, a video, an article, or an event, this moment invited so much feeling, so much thought, that they motivated and demanded change of themselves from within.
What brings about this “change”? It was not a miracle; it was not magic; it wasn’t some government mind-control project those crazy Libertarians are always conspiring about; it was knowledge; it was the resulting value.
When you put great value in something or commonly, someone, the greatest fear is losing them, or more specifically, losing your happiness, your values. One of the greatest pains and failures is knowing you could have done more to prevent the loss, or wishing more time was spent on what or with who you value.
There is knowledge and reward in knowing what and who you value, like being able to accomplish the things you want and the time with others you desire, and thus, exemplifying the strength to pursue and defend your RIGHT to do so. And while it is discomforting to think of the loss of those people, the family, the friends, the memories, and the necessary Freedoms, it delivers the fundamental life lesson that individuals have a Right to, and are capable of value, its pursuit, and thus, the creation of life. Those who utilize force to steal and destroy do so out of fear of your capability to value and create, contrary to their weakness to create and failure to value.
With their pursuit of what is yours, they reveal that they fight for nothing and stand for nothing. They fail to understand that by their use of force, by their theft of a man’s life and his values, they recognize that he has a Right to himself that must exist first to be stolen, and that he has value, which he had to create for himself.
Because they have no value in life, no value in themselves, and thus, no values to pursue, their entire lives are spent attempting to fill the resulting void and lifelessness with the theft and destruction of the value of others and their life.
Let no man or government instill fear in you of your Right to life, its pursuit, and your capability to value and create it. Let every man and government weak enough to use force clearly show your sacrifice is their theft, your oppression is their control, and your value and virtue are your success and happiness; their failure and defeat.
Go forward with confidence in knowing you create your value, and vigilance in knowing your defense of your values is your creation of life which is your own.
“Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark in the hopeless swamps of the not-quite, the not-yet, and the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish in lonely frustration for the life you deserved and have never been able to reach. The world you desire can be won. It exists.. it is real.. it is possible.. it’s yours.” -Ayn Rand