The Dalai Lama, when asked what surprised him most about humanity, answered:
"Man. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money.
Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health.
And then he is so anxious about the present that he does not enjoy the present;
the result being that he does not live in the present or future;
he lives as if he is never going to die,
and then dies having never really lived."
Saturday, November 17, 2012
Without its people a nation is just an expanse of land, water, and sky. To preserve ours, we must protect the personal liberties of our citizens by limiting the role of government to that of defending the common good. We must limit the power it has over individual citizens to situations where compelling public interest is served. This applies to spending more money than we actually have, trying to solve social ills with added regulatory complexity, and creating un-elected governing bodies where the subjective aesthetics of a restless few can hold more weight than the wishes of the community they presume to serve.
True happiness comes from within, and results from finding contentment in things as they are, not from constantly trying to reshape the rest of the world to meet our own standards for perfection. Electing James Riley to Bar Harbor Town Council won't magically fix anything, but it might bring a fresh voice to the table to remind us that we cannot preserve our community unless we defend the right of self determination for all our citizens, even those with whom we disagree. What better way to ensure that our path forward serves all our citizens than allowing each citizen to choose their own place on that path?
Posted by Jay at 8:10 PM