On This Valentine's Day, If You Love Someone Set Them Free
Dr. Mary J. Ruwart shared a great message today from one of her social media accounts, that reads ...
"Valentine’s Day is made for lovers. I like to think that those who love liberty are some of the best lovers of all. Real lovers won’t try to coerce you, manipulate you, or try to take your stuff. Real lovers care enough to give you the very best—freedom of choice. Many people think that lovers of liberty are cold and uncaring, because they don’t support government intervention and taxation. Just the opposite is true."
To add to that, a number of people today seem to regard the love of liberty as childish; merely a selfish, egoic pursuit of the freedom to do whatever one wishes, damn the consequences. I submit that these same people tend to view the institution of the State through the lens of a kind of 'parental love', regarding it as a duty of the mother and father to watch over and protect the child who has not yet the inherent capacity to meet their own needs without possibly falling into trouble and hurting themselves or others, and that this justifies a responsibility to prevent the child from doing whatever they want, thus limiting their freedom.
The fundamental caveat to this viewpoint is that the child must eventually grow up, else they forever remain a child.
At some point, if children are to mature, they must have the freedom to think and act for themselves, as well as the freedom to fail, and assume responsibility for those failures, which is the process of learning and growth. When control and structure eventually cease to foster growth and instead begin to constrict and stifle it, then the parental love that seeks to protect must also grow with it, otherwise, it risks turning into its opposite, thereby ceasing to be love. It then becomes overbearing and domineering, and paradoxically irresponsible. This is precisely what the State has become.
Humanity, if it is to ever mature, must grow up. While there may be a stage where the desire to do whatever one feels like is marked by a sort of childishness, beyond that is a stage where the urge toward freedom is not hollow but rather an expression of the natural development of the human being. This is a claiming for oneself of one's independence and autonomy and the responsibility that goes with it, which defines maturity. On the contrary, it is incessant clinging to the authority and security of a mommy and daddy government in order to relieve one of ever having to assume absolute liability for one's actions, that is childlike. (i.e., "don't blame me, I was just following orders.")
In attempting to assert that for the indefinite future, human beings will never be responsible enough not to require a nanny-state to control our behavior whether we like it or not, one is simultaneously assuming both the role of the overbearing parent as well as the immature child. For in the final equation, are they not one and the same?
Kahlil Gibran once wrote, "If you love somebody, let them go, for if they return, they were always yours. If not, they never were."
That is to say, if you love something, set it free. This is a mature love, and a love that must ultimately supersede the responsibility to shelter and protect (which eventually devolves into control) if humanity is to grow to its fullest potential. Such maturity is thwarted by attachment to the desire for a predetermined outcome, which is rooted in the seeking of psychological security, out of fear, rather than the love which brings freedom.
Happy Valentine's Day to lovers of liberty around the world!