Perception and the highlight reel of time

If you had come into my life towards the end of 2011, you would have assumed my wife and I were fairly average for our ages. Married young, paying on a car for my wife, and a motorcycle for me, we lived in a town home, and had relatively little furniture. Our major purchase for 2011 was a new bed that I had bought with extra money from overtime. My wife was an aspiring young photographer, but we had yet to do any weddings together.

Had you entered my life in late 2011 you may have assumed we were relatively normal, despite our unique relationship spanning the oceans. You would have thought we blended in quite well. Into 2012 and onward, we became more and more successful, almost as if we were favored, almost as if luck had everything to do with it. If you had entered our lives around the end of 2011 and watched us acquire everything that we did afterwards, it would have been easy to become jealous, and to think of favoritism of some sort.

Had you entered our lives around this time period, you would not have seen all the hard work that had gone into all that we have now. The courting period. My working hard in England, saving to move here. You would not have seen the nearly four years of marriage, and commitment to each other just to get to 2012.

During 2012 I became a citizen, I paid my motorcycle off, I bought a brand new jeep, we bought new furniture, we paid my wife’s car off, we traveled to England to visit my family for the first time since I moved here. We shot weddings together. I sponsored my parents to move here. In 2013 my parents came to live with us, we bought a house, and a plethora of tools and fixtures that come with buying a house. We began to host birthday parties, and our success was erupting for everyone to see. In 2014 we shot more weddings than ever before, and my wife’s business began to grow. Being able to buy nice things for me was a luxury I had seldom experienced thus far, and was an experience in and of itself.

What many did not see was all the hard work that had gone into all that. The reason, as my wife pointed out, that more and more people became negative towards us in the end of 2014 is because they only saw the highlights of our lives. Up until and including buying the house, many cheered for us. When we stayed successful and continued streaking across the sky, those who could not live up to our example began to become jealous, and some would nip at our heels whenever they had the chance.

They do not realize the many years that have gone into building the life that we have. They do not see the many hours my wife and I put into working our butts off to live this life. They do not see the trials and tribulations. They do not understand what it takes to endure, because they have never had to.

The trials we went through as teenagers, and in our early marriage when first coming together permanently, has solidified our relationship and our individual resolve.

looking out

Those who met us earlier on in our courtship, have a better understanding of our trials. As 2015 comes into bloom, we are doubling down on our commitment to each other and to our own entrepreneurial spirit. It has taken this long just to start seeing real profit. My wife can now eye working from home on a permanent basis, while I finally wade into publishing writings I have had sketched out for years.

Nothing good is ever easy. It takes a lot of hard work, a lot of patience, and a commitment to do good, no matter what others may throw at you or say behind your back.

Perception is important. Those who have known me longest know that I am in fact very humble by nature. Those who haven’t known me long probably perceive me as arrogant. That’s OK. Whatever arrogance I may have, I’ve earned it. I worked my butt off to be where I am today, and I intend to go further. Not for fame, not for glory, nor even for riches. But to live an authentic life that is all my own.

When you only ever observe the highlights, you miss the full picture. The saying goes ‘never judge a book by it’s cover’ perception it seems, is everything.

If you want a good life, you have to work hard. There is no other way around it. You will have hardships of many kinds you will have to endure. If you use philosophy as a guide and believe in yourself, in your abilities and have a little faith. You can create whatever you want. Do not concern yourself with what others are doing. Do not concern yourself with their highlight reels. Your perception is important, and you should strive to see the best in yourself, and in turn become the best you can be. You really can achieve anything if you put your mind to it.

Changes in perception on libertarianism

For a while I considered myself very libertarian, and in many ways I still do, but perhaps now I am more of a little L Libertarian. I am finding myself ever more conservative, especially in light of recent events.

As the news sources continually pour out stories of Russia invading the Ukraine, the rise of the Islamic State, and general belligerence from other nations in the world, I find myself reassessing old points of view on libertarianism.

Point of View

During the 1800’s, from the time of the Napoleonic War all the way until the start of the first world war, Great Britain ruled the oceans. Being a mostly free nation, concentrated on trade, the world entered a boom phase. Not only did the United Kingdom lead the industrial revolution, it brought peace and relative stability to the world, allowing capitalism to flourish.

Today the United States of America is the world’s foremost superpower. It is a mostly free nation, concentrated on trade.  Since the end of the second world war, America has been dominant, maintaining relative peace and stability in the world.

Now, there have been many wars, and many lives lost over the last few decades, but those numbers pale in comparison to the lives lost in the two world wars. The US took up where Britain left off in maintaining trade and capitalism in the world.

America’s foreign policy is one of a projection of force. Most countries have the understanding that if they are peaceful toward us, we are glad to trade with them, if they are hostile toward us, we are likely to obliterate them.

There have been many mistakes in America’s foreign policies over the last few decades, many of which will be argued over for many more decades to come. A lot of people say that we should never have gotten involved in Iraq to begin with, and I can understand these arguments.

However. The rise of the Islamic State is not something the world should sit by and allow to happen. The Islamic State is a barbaric and backwards regime. Not only do they kill thousands of innocent people in droves, but they are totally hostile toward western civilization. They will not stop until we are either all Muslim, or all dead. Forget Al Quadi, they’re soft in comparison, these guys mean business.

As the world’s foremost superpower, we do have a duty to maintain order in the world. As a friend of mine once said “nature abhors a vacuum” Do you really want the likes of communist China, or soviet style Russia to be the world’s new superpower? Do you really think either of these countries will be even close to as fair as Britain and the USA have been to other nations throughout the last two centuries?

Do you really think if we just sit back on our hands that everything will just be alright?

I think not.

We, and we alone can stand up against these tyrants, we and we alone can restore capitalism, free trade and free thought to the world. The American way is one to be proud of.

Here’s to praying that the house and senate are swept with conservative republicans this fall, so that we can finally begin proceedings against our limp wristed, golfer-in-chief, The world will be a lot safer when we finally impeach this anti-colonial, communist traitor from the white house. Barack Obama’s lack of leadership has the world teetering on the verge of a third world war.

Real leadership is needed, and that starts at the grass roots. I am at least thankful for libertarians at that level, helping alter the progressive tendencies the republican party was heading in.

Another issue I am reconsidering is my old stance against Israel. Now, the very creation of Israel after the second world war, much like the creation of Syria and Iraq after the first world war, has caused nothing but problems for the surrounding area for the last few decades. But to say, as I did over a year ago, that Israel is inherently evil, is perhaps naive. Now, the Zionist Illuminati, and other such organizations, those are I believe not healthy to the world, but the Israeli state now exists, for better or for worst, and I do not want to see the killing of innocent women and children. It is not the fault of those born there that the state exists. It is evil however for an organization to launch rockets at peaceful population centers and use women and children as human shields. As the state now exists, Israel does have a right to defend itself. Hamas is an evil terrorist entity. Their emblem includes the communist hammer and sickle. This has made me rethink everything.

As for the general rule that many libertarians are atheist, I do not believe a lack of faith is healthy in society. Lack of faith leads to empty vessels, and after a couple generations of this, they tend to be hungry for new faith, which can be easily steered toward evil. The rise of radical Islam seems to take place right behind the rise of socialism. Socialism is the moral decay of a society, which puts altruism above self interest on the national level. Once this takes foot, it is hard to stop.

I believe in morality, in doing good to others, but also doing well for yourself, and setting a good example.

As for drugs and gay marriage, I do not like the idea of legalizing drugs, but I can see that the drug war has done no good to communities. For gay marriage, how can you support a notion which is generally not accepted by the populace, and damns the very idea of marriage itself?

These are questions I pose not only to my self, but to all libertarians. The fact that a group of people within a country can discuss ideas of freedom in such a way, is a miracle unto itself, but I do not know if all inclusiveness is sustainable.

I pray for the restoration and growth of this great nation and of her people.