Commit yourself in all the most important things in your life, whatever those things may be.
A common distinction between conservatism and libertarianism is a lack of commitment. A common distinction between progressivism and conservatism is a lack of commitment.
That’s not always bad.
There is nothing wrong with a lack of commitment to bad things. There is everything wrong with a life absent commitment. How easy it is to go about finding adult men-children and adult women-children living lives absent commitment.
To commit to nothing is practically the moniker of our era. To commit to nothing wholesome or edifying is a little closer to the reality.
There is a series of memes called NPC. The NPC comes from video games: Non-Player Character.
The NPC is the Borg-controlled entity in the video game that follows the command of the central brain and acts predictably. The same is used to describe the progressive left. Many are committed, though not to anything very worthwhile.
The commitment tends to be to the latest headlines, chyrons, complaints, talking points, and marching orders from approved media sources like CNN, The New York Times, Jezebel, Slate, and the like. This committed behavior is very fitting for an NPC, while the underlying philosophy is so debilitating to the adherent. Libertarians have such good ideas at their disposal, but are prone to not use them in a committed fashion. I don’t mean brainlessness. I mean committing to things that are good for you.
Hedonism, adult childism, head-in-the-sand-ism, perpetual tourism, atheism, agnosticism, apathy, and many other forms of non-committal positions exist popularly among libertarians. These are not necessarily non-commital positions, but they tend to be.
Commit To A Spouse
If you aren’t sure about the person you have in mind, it’s probably time to bail and find one that you are sure about. Life is short. Time is precious. For men, this guy is a good one to consult for that: The Tactical Guide to Women by Shawn T. Smith. For women there’s no one like Suzanne Venker on this topic. She’s the author of The Alpha Female’s Guide to Men and Marriage. Men and women alike can benefit from listening to a year’s worth of her interviews . She’s countercultural in all the right ways.
Some people aren’t meant to be married. It’s a very small number. Any two healthy adults who mean to get along can get along.
Most benefit from it and curiously avoid it until an advanced age and for specious reasons, often in a pursuit of prolonging some form of childhood. Society does many a disfavor by being so permissive of childhood without end. Done right, marriage is edifying in a way that few other commitments in life can be.
Commit To A God
Bow down in prayer. Read the Bible each morning. Find a pastor or a church or a group or an interpretation that fits you. Go to church every week. Go through the motions of this edifying practice and I think you will be surprised at how quickly commitment builds faith. Faith is not reason. Faith is something else and faith is commonly the ingredient lacking in the libertarian who refuses to commit.
The Whig Theory — There might be other practices that are more fitting for you. In evaluating those practices, keep in mind Murray Rothbard’s criticism of the Whig theory of history, a theory that so dominates in our age. It deceives people into mindless trend following, an ill of this era, and many eras, but especially harmful today, for it says that which comes later chronologically must be better than that which comes sooner chronologically. Rothbard writes:
The Whig theory, subscribed to by almost all historians of science, including economics, is that scientific thought progresses patiently, one year after another developing, sifting, and testing theories, so that science marches onward and upward, each year, decade or generation learning more and possessing ever more correct scientific theories. On analogy with the Whig theory of history, coined in mid-nineteenth century England, which maintained that things are always getting (and therefore must get) better and better, the Whig historian of science, seemingly on firmer grounds than the regular Whig historian, implicitly or explicitly asserts that “later is always better” in any particular scientific discipline. The Whig historian (whether of science or of history proper) really maintains that, for any point of historical time, “whatever was, was right”, or at least better than “whatever was earlier”. The inevitable result is a complacent and infuriating Panglossian optimism. In the historiography of economic thought, the consequence is the firm if implicit position that every individual economist, or at least every school of economists, contributed their important mite to the inexorable upward march. There can, then, be no such thing as gross systemic error that deeply flawed, or even invalidated, an entire school of economic thought, much less sent the world of economics permanently astray….Once a central paradigm is selected, there is no testing or sifting, and tests of basic assumptions only take place after a series of failures and anomalies in the ruling paradigm has plunged the science into a “crisis situation”…But if the standard romantic or Panglossian view does not work even in the hard sciences, a fortiori it must be totally off the mark in such a “soft science” as economics, in a discipline where there can be no laboratory testing, and where numerous even softer disciplines such as politics, religion, and ethics necessarily impinge on one’s economic outlook.
To apply this to spiritual practices: a spiritual practice that developed after another chronologically is not by default more fitting for the practitioner, yet the approval of what is new or even trendy as being synonymous with what is more edifying is practically a tenant of new age movements. New need not be better. Old need not be bad. Often, the wisdom of the ages deserves careful consideration, examination that this era, unfortunately, seldom offers it.
Commitment, Faith, & Skepticism Are Intertwined — I raise this topic because commitment and faith are intertwined. Skepticism and faith too are intertwined. I have observed the following:
1.) Skepticism is a marvelous tool that has its limits. Too much is bad for he who has it.
2.) Faith, whether religious or otherwise, is valuable. Applied properly it accomplishes great things.
3.) Skepticism must be monitored for it can easily conquer faith and leave an individual debilitated.
Are such observations unreasonable?
Gluttonous Skepticism — This may trigger some people who gluttonously pursue skepticism in unlimited doses. Gluttony is an ill of our era that goes far beyond feasting. I interact with thousands of people over the course of a year on topics such as these. Gluttonous application of skepticism is a constant, debilitating factor that appears repeatedly among some of the brightest people I meet, and is so very debilitating. Seeing this so frequently appear, I would be remiss not to caution against it: in my own life and in the lives of others.
Commitment to good things is vital and must not be feared or avoided. Commitment accomplishes great things.
Commit To A Calling
You like some stuff better than other stuff. Some stuff you like so much that when given the opportunity to do it, you say “Yes! Absolutely, no questions asked, I’ll drop anything to be there and do that.” Please try to eliminate as much of the “I’m not sure” or “Maybe” or “Sure” or “I guess” activities from your life as possible. As you commit to moving them out of your life, you’ll be reminded of how nature abhors a vacuum and fills that newly created space with the edifying and fulfilling and the things that you say “Heck yeah!” to. The more you learn to do this and practice it, the more easy and natural it becomes to do.
Commit To Lead
I probably can’t tell you anything you haven’t heard before about the uniqueness of man. Plenty of existentialist trash as well as detritus from behavioral psychologists has so many people confused about that essential, fundamental, vital topic. This is understandably so for that detritus is so present in the milieu of our era and so sabotaging.
Quoting Malcolm Gladwell may sound good, and be popular, but it has serious limitations for his underpinnings in behaviorism leave him on such shaky philosophical foundation. Behaviorism chips away at the idea that individuals exist and does so in our era with reckless abandon. I do not find it particularly clever or telling. I find it to be undermining. Many people act predictably in many situations. Nothing special about that. We are not predictable input and output mechanisms. It is the moment between input and output that is so beautiful about humans. Philosophies that enable man to rise to his best focus on that moment, rather than the moments where we behave like predictable animals. Leaders inspire man to make the most of those moments and to expand their ability to have as many of those moments as impactfully in their lives as possible.
Sheep — So many even call others “sheep,” often more of an indication of the speaker’s unwillingness to lead rather than a statement about the other. This can be a fun pejorative to use. We must always remember this is a mere metaphor and with limited usefulness, just like the NPC meme. It often gets treated as more. It can be used to deride one’s individuality. The uniqueness of the individual, instead, is an underpinning that deserves the most vigorous defense.
This complaint about humanity being sheep is a direct result of the corruption of existentialism and behaviorism run amok. The complaint is a denial of the beauty of the individual and the desire to recognize what is individual in a person.
Yes, a lot of people engage in lots of very similar and predictable behavior. You and I probably do too. That’s no reason to dismiss a person and to refuse to lead.
Many Want To Be Led — The great mass of people will predictably follow a capable person who rises to the occasion and leads. Countries, states, communities, and families all have people who demand to be led and who will follow the best leader they can find.
So many abrogate this role of leading their home to the television, to the schools, or to some other entity. They abrogate leadership, when there is no replacement for a good leader in the home especially and the community especially. This is where leadership is needed most and where it’s absence is most felt. I probably do not have to explain why television and schools are unfitting leaders for a child, but many parents, perhaps even you, often permit exactly those entities to be leaders in their home.
You, the reader of this, are probably one who sees the world so clearly and has spent long days preparing your mind and your life for a moment like this. Those around you need you to step up and lead. If you do not do that, they will be led by all of the same misguided and toxic leaders who have led us through 2020 to our demise.
Those who led did not put in the work that you did to understand and prepare for what this moment needs. Why then should someone like that lead? Because you refuse to. And they are the only ones stepping into that role effectively.
Are You Leading As Well As You Can Be — You can blame those people and call on them to step down, but there will not be a leadership vacuum for long. It will be filled by someone, and that alternative could be much worse. The world needs you to lead as much as you can and as effectively as you can. Do not wait for the vacuum. Your courage is needed to push into the contested breach and lead.
Can you be doing more to lead your family, your community, and your circle of influence? Can you be doing that better?
Are you modeling the best you can at all times for anyone who may be watching?
Are you calling out spoken statements that are inaccurate, rather than letting them sit uncomfortably in the air?
Can you be doing more of that?
Are you identifying, communicating, and defending your boundaries as much as you can?
Are you identifying, communicating, and defending your values as much as you can?
Is it clear to all around you from your actions, that you will not let your values be violated in your presence?
Is it clear to all around you from your actions, that you are always the one who can be relied on to take responsibility for a problem, big or small, that you are reliably the one who will handle the biggest crises by simply saying “Step back everyone, I’ve got this!” and can you be doing that more?
These are questions only you can answer.
This is leadership. I’m not telling you to run for office. We are deluded into thinking that a government office is the same as legitimate authority and is the same as leadership. It can be, when the right person holds that office. I’m saying to be a leader in your own life, then your family’s life, then your community’s life.
Doing so may change the world. At the very least, doing so changes the world as you know it. You need not set out to change the world. You must not ever believe that since you can’t change the world that simply reading or gaming or engaging in internet arguments are the best you can do. Modernity wants that of you. Modernity wants you enfeebled and easy to manage. Those around you need you present and leading in the world around you.
Cuomo Leads, Libertarians Read — I watch the most clueless, incapable, and corrupt people steering society, while the most amazing people happily spend their days sending barely read messages into the abyss from social media jail. How do we reverse that situation, at least one person at a time? That situation benefits the largely incapable ultra minority and harms everyone else. Learning and leadership are not exclusive, quite the contrary. Learning must be put into action lest it be mere mental masturbation. Leading in your own life, family, and circle is enough, and if you are anything like the person I imagine you to be, many want so badly to be led by you. Especially in a time like this.
Predictable behavior does not make one into an animal. Man is something more. The individual is something more. Dismissing one as a “sheep” risks you refusing to lead.
And like anything else worth doing, leading takes a lot of work, it has a learning curve, and it comes with a lot of hurdles and pitfalls. Do not be discouraged. Be encouraged in the face of evil. Be encouraged in the face of adversity. Fight ever more boldly. This moment needs you.
Commit To You
Though you may be well aware of all the rhetoric and theory about how special you are, if you are not doing the things most vital in your life and are mired in distraction rather than the things edifying and central, you have not put your specialness into practice. You have not committed. You have not committed to yourself.
One of the most significant verses of the Bible, one of the greatest gifts of Christianity and Judaism comes right at the beginning in Genesis 1:27.
“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”
Upon this verse is so much built. This thinking need not be biblical. There are many other good descriptions of the uniqueness of man.
You are very special. We all are, and life is very short.
Your life deserves your FULL commitment.
I don’t know how that looks in your life, and you may not either, but this moment it is the right moment to resolve to give yourself exactly that.
We live in times that demand no less from the person who see what evil surrounds us.
If that describes you, this moment needs your FULL commitment to yourself. Without that, the rest is built on a poor foundation. In committing, one person at a time, we will defeat this great evil that is upon us.
And one day, you and I may find ourselves rejoicing in victory, having found ourselves among the committed few who made that victory possible, who led by example, who moved mountains with our belief, who did things once unimaginable to either or us.
There are people with both smaller IQs than you and bigger IQs than you who are so successful on this earth. They make 10x, 100x, 1000x what you make in a day. They motivate 10x, 100x, 1000x more men than you in a day. They accomplish 10x, 100x, 1000x more than you in a day, but they are not 10x, 100x, 1000x your IQ.
Their difference: they dream bigger, and they commit harder.
Let’s Win This.
Allan Stevo’s best-selling and critically acclaimed “Face Masks in One Lesson” is a guide on never again wearing a face mask. If you are still wearing one and do not want to be, please have a look, and commit to no longer wearing that face mask starting today.