Braveheart is a beautiful movie if you've never seen it. I highly recommend it.
There's something pure about someone devoted to a cause. Not sold out to fame, glory, title, or money. Willing to die, at any moment, for what he (or she) thinks is right.
This person is free. Not slave to whims, because they have a purpose. Not slave to the world, because as long as they are alive they hold that purpose above all else.
What I know more than anything is some fake reality. I make digital things that are so far removed from nature. I can barely catch a fish, I've never hunted, and I've never been in a real fight. Sure, I can keep systems online. I've kept up with some very bright colleagues. I can be well taken care of if I devote myself to a career.
But what do I really want to know? Do I really care about "scaling businesses" to no end? I know my trade quite well. But why?
When I think about what I really want, it isn't comfort. It isn't fame or money. I see the things that money can buy. And it's nice, to a degree, but runs dry pretty quick. Lots of money just opens me up to too many possibilities so I can't appreciate what I have. All the options in the world aren't always a good thing. If you look up any famous actor or actress, they're probably on their fourth spouse, doesn't matter the age. With millions of dollars and all that fame, they can't make something last.
When I don't have money to throw around, I'm somehow happier. I appreciate my limitations. It's more interesting trying to solve problems with less.
And this draws me closer and closer to what I really want. It isn't things. I want to know if I'm a man. I want to know if I could ever be a hero. I want to know if I have what it takes to die for someone I love. All these things I know are so pointless compared to that. If I can't be covered in blood, half-concious, and remind the assailant who's about to hurt someone I love that I'm not dead yet, what am I? What am I if all I can be is bought? Bought by comfort and complacency? Or a slave to my own body, avoiding pain like a coward?
I want to know that I can die for something other than myself. And I want to know that there's something in this world worth dying for. Something that isn't cheap and that can't be bought.
I would love a quiet, peaceful life with a family on some land. Living in harmony with nature. Knowing what things smell like, having to wash the dirt off my own carrots. Eating a chicken I knew from its birth. Hunting an elk a few miles away. I hope some day that is what I know, as long as I am willing to die for it and not cower, not flinch.
Even if I have land, I have to ask permission, with a bribe, paying some sum every year for the privilege of having my land. I have to pay for the privilege of services rendered that I never asked for. If I don't pay it, my land gets put up for auction and inevitably someone will try to evict me.
In some parts of the country I could be arrested just for being outside without some "essential" purpose. I just hate this over-socialized living where we're pretending to be some big and happy family. I don't want to live pretending to consider the effects of my actions on every single human being. I just want to live to what's in front of me. I don't want to be an ant in a colony. I don't want to be some sardine.
I want to be around people who I actually mean something to. I want to be around people I would die for.
I do like writing to you, reader. Some of you have become my friends and I'm quite fortunate. But I hope I can shape the world in some way with more than just my words.
I want to have a family who's irreplaceable. I want to know nature first hand and not be a slave to technology -- as much as I admire technology and the feats of man.
If they come for me, for living peacefully in the way that I do, I want to know that I will stop at nothing to protect what I love. And that if I lose what I love, I will honor them with my actions and bring justice, however much is needed.
I am afraid that there won't ever be something worth loving this much. But I still hope I find it. I hope I find a reason to charge forward, uninhibited, whether or not I have an army behind me. I hope that some day, if I am ever followed, it is because I am a man worth following and not because I asked anyone.
I still don't know what kind of man I am. I don't know if I'll get back up when I'm kicked down. I don't know if I've grown soft, raised as a domesticated man, unable to live with nature. I don't want to be a slave to television, internet, and air conditioning.
I'm sick and tired of working for other people so that I, too, might have the opportunity to rent an apartment and be completely reliant on services around me. Reliant on money, not on neighbors and family.
I've thought of myself as a liability for a long time. It scares me sometimes to meet a good woman and think that she might have a safer, easier life with someone else. And that probably is true. Safety and confirmity are not my top values. Maybe I'll find someone who feels that way as well. Maybe some day I'll truly know that I can give my life for someone. I can't always pick how I live and what comes my way, but I hope I have the strength in me to pick how I die.
I love economics and I find capitalism fascinating. But somehow markets have replaced our history and our families with picket fence dreams.
I don't want to be complacent and afraid. I don't want to watch beauty be torn down into ruin. So what if I die? I can die having lived or having never lived. I hope that I am a man and that no matter how many times I get kicked down, I will always get back up until my light has gone out.
Thanks for reading.