How to Gain Confidence and Courage

courage For more than two years I wrote a free monthly newsletter called Individual Virtue. Recently I’ve received some interest in those articles, so I thought I’d republish some of them (with light editing). This is the first. Confidence and Courage All of us enjoy feeling confident, or at least we dislike feeling confused and weak. We also like feeling that we’ve been brave and not cowardly. But how do we …

Switching Scripts

script Almost all of us were raised to follow a more or less uniform script through our lives. Sometimes it was specifically taught to us, and other times we just absorbed it by watching others. But regardless of how we were trained, there are two primary problems with following this script: Following a script is unbecoming to a thinking being and leads in bad directions. Such scripts reflect what worked a …

Are You a Gorilla or a God?

godorgorilla Humanity stands about halfway between gorillas and gods. The great question that looms over us, is this: “Which will we incorporate into our lives? Gorilla things or God things?” The choice is ours. Yes, various choices are thrust upon us all our lives, accompanied with various levels of intimidation and threat, but at some point, all of us find ourselves able to choose freely. And it is then that we …

The Beauty and Dignity of the Productive Class

dignity At one time I lived very close to the Field Museum of Chicago; I had a membership and spent a good deal of time there. One evening, about ten minutes before closing, I noticed that workmen had begun preparing the first floor for an evening event. I had a panoramic view from where I stood at the second floor balcony, and what I saw has stuck with me ever since. …

Liberty And Art: How And Why Libertarians Have Failed

liberty art As I have noted in my “Failure of the Libertarian Movement article,” libertarians have generally limited their activities to marginally useful areas like politics and economics but have seldom used them to illuminate and free the human spirit. Liberty is ideal for freeing the human spirit, but we really haven’t used it very well. In fairness to the economic and political folks (and I’d have to include myself as one …

The Systemic Abuse of the Productive Class: It Ends When We Say it Ends

productive class The productive people of this world are being abused. We all know it and we all complain about it. And most of the things we complain about (taxes, stupid laws, politicians and bureaucrats doing ridiculous things) are backed by large, powerful systems. That is why I chose “systemic abuse” for this article’s title. The idea of a system being abusive by nature often bothers people in a deep and obscure …

Turn On Tune In Drop Out – A Modern Interpretation

turn on tune in drop out This was a big phrase in the 1960s, as young people turned away from the corporate conformity of the 1950s and decided that they wanted more out of life than being an adequately-fed cog in a big machine. Let’s be honest and admit that the modern corporate script involves selling your own wishes and dreams for paychecks. I know that a lot of us have played along with it because …

The Strangest Secret: Why You Should Run Away

why you should run away One of the more instructive experiences of my life occurred when was when I was a teenager, barely sixteen years old. My dad, whom I had previously considered to be incredibly over-protective, put me on a cross-country bus and sent me, alone, to visit my grandmother, some two thousand miles away. For two straight days I was on my own, surrounded by people I had never met, in places I’d …

Boiling Frogs, Sheep and Lemmings…

boiling frogs People who accept and welcome change are always frustrated by those who oppose and condemn it. Somewhat understandably, they tend to make unattractive comparisons between the stasis people and dumb animals, such as calling them lemmings, sheep or, boiling frogs. And while these comparisons may not be without some basis, they are less than useful. After all, if you call someone a lemming, they are not likely to consider your …

Personal and Online Privacy: If you have nothing to hide, why do you care?

Personal and Online Privacy: If you have nothing to hide, why do you care? We’ve all heard the insulting, tyrannical cliché about privacy: If you have nothing to hide, why do you care? The comeback, if not that it would fall on deaf ears, should be this: Because I value myself. The real value of privacy is not because it allows us to hide things, it’s that privacy allows us to develop independently – according to our own natures. In other words, privacy is …