Just recently, an old friend of mine from my childhood came down to visit me and catch up. We hadn’t seen each other in 6 years and, as a result, there was a bunch of things we needed to catch up on. In doing so, I obviously explained to my friend what I had been up to this whole time; I showed him things I’ve done, accomplishments I’ve made, and, in general, got him caught up on my life since we last saw each other. He in turn did the same.
One thing in our conversation that absolutely perplexed me, and left me confounded, was something I’ve observed increasingly with others I’ve had interactions with:
The lack of desire to learn.
That’s not to say my buddy wasn’t inclined to learn about things he viewed as relevant to himself or interesting, but one stark contrast I observed from our conversation was where I am eager to learn about anything and everything, no matter what its relevance, to be a more well rounded individual, he was not. I am physically incapable of understanding such a mentality that does not promote self growth of the mind. As a child, I was brought up with the expression of “if you aren’t learning, you’re dying.” It has stuck with me, as well as the importance behind it.
I began pulling out various schematics and diagrams of things I’ve worked on to show him what it’s like to see some of the systems on a transport category aircraft. After asking if he knew what any of it meant (since he is a private pilot), I asked if he wanted to learn any of what he was looking at if for no other reason than to just know something others don’t and he responded with with an indirect “no.”
As I stated previously, I found this to be greatly perplexing. How could you not want to fuel that carnal desire that any self aware, free thinking individual has? I am incapable of understanding how one would be able to say “no” to such a base instinct.
The value of knowledge is not just worth its weight in gold but it’s worth far more if you have the intelligence to grasp why that is. Information is, in itself, a currency; governments protect and hide it from other governments, companies lock it up in safes, and people keep secrets. Knowledge is the same in value as information; the more you have, the more quantifiable you can measure yourself as being ahead of those around you.
If we are to talk of such grandiose concepts, such as rebuilding our communities, would it not make sense to disperse knowledge among those around us?
No one is born strong. Physical strength, mental tenacity, knowledge, all of these things are grown from seeds generously planted by those who have them and give us the tools needed to foster our own roots, so that we may grow into strong oaks which, when combined, make a forest. Building up your fellow man is something we used to do, it is something that others still do but, increasingly, it’s becoming ever diminishing in the clownworld we find ourselves living in.
Change, like a budding sapling, is organic; it must be nurtured, protected, and given an environment upon which it may flourish. Because change comes from people who are organic, retaking everything must be viewed in the same way.
If you were a General and sent those physically incapable of dominating on the battlefield to fight, expecting them to win against a physically superior foe, you would be absolutely mad. Such a metaphorical concept is an apt description of facets I’ve observed in various right wing circles over the years. That’s not to say this is all encompassing but, if the shoe fits, wear it.
What happens if your best just isn’t enough, or you can’t send your best to tackle an issue? Just as the organic nature of the tree, you must grow your best. You must become grassroots in nature.
Just as the soldier goes through a training regime to prepare him for the battlefield, you must do the same. Becoming measurably better than others does not happen over night, it takes sincere and dedicated work. You have to be willing and, most importantly, wanting to become better than what you were yesterday. To do so requires you to tear down the mental barriers you, others, or society has erected over your lifetime.
Just as no fight on the battlefield predates good intelligence gathering, you must do your own intelligence gathering, that is to stay you must start with your mind. By freeing your mind and subsequently fueling its ingrained desire to learn, you will find yourself able to cast off the chains which have been placed on your shoulders from before your birth.
I’ve always held the disposition that the best kind of education you can get is a self-education, not just because many “approved books or sources” are propaganda, but simply because there is no physical way to simply teach someone the things they need to know to fully function as an independent adult with the limited years and ineptitude our “education system” provides. As such, I believe it’s always my duty to be learning about something, anything and it doesn’t matter what it is. Your brain, like your body, is a muscle (albeit a mental one) and it requires you to exercise it to keep it in tip-top shape.
Just like in a military setting, almost anyone can pick up a rifle and pull the trigger, or be taught to do so, but not everyone can lead or plan for a battle. Such things must be honed through experience and education; life is in very much the same way.
If you dream of being the pillar that those around you come to, or even anchor themselves on, you too must grow yourself. When you do so, do not hoard such a wealth to yourself, share it and offer a hand up to those around you who have fallen; help them rise with you. In doing so you will earn their loyalty and respect.
I have done this for others in the past and it has earned me friends who would put their neck on the line for me because they know I would do the same for them. This is how brotherhood is formed, not solely by drinking beers on the tailgate of your trucks around a bonfire under the moonlight; that part comes second. The bonds formed through being a pillar, and making others around you into pillars, makes the community.
Does this mean you may be ready to partake in an arduous task yet? No. Just like establishing a forward operating base in a war torn country, you cannot have operations without first having security. Security in your perimeter, security internally, security logistically, and security operationally.
View it in the frame of security in yourself, your position in life. How can you help others if you are not secure in your position, or you if you’re broken? This isn’t to excuse being selfish, only to highlight the important precept that to truly be strong, it must be organic, and that bettering yourself and your fellow man should be how you prioritize rebuilding in the embers of what was.
“If not me than who?” is an expression I often use for a variety of reasons, primarily self motivational ones, but there are and will be others who are in place ready to assume the roles of building up your fellow man while you work on yourself. In addition to that, you could also learn things from them while they carry out the task of assisting you in your self betterment.
To close, everything starts and ends in your head. No matter how irrelevant something may seem to you at the time, or how mundane, in some way it makes you better and more ahead than the NPCs of the “modern” world. With enough concerted effort, more and more can be brought from the stables of mental menagerie and return to what made the entire Western World the most indomitable powerhouse the world had ever bared witness to.
Pride, Heritage, Legacy.
God, Family, Country.
It is time to embrace what were once time honored traditions and practices. It is time to retake everything. Say no to mediocrity. Specialization is for insects.
“Society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.”– Anonymous Greek Proverb
God bless you and God bless Dixie.
When Otto isn’t turning wrenches, you can hear the sound of him griping to himself about the state of the modern world echoing off the pine and oak trees that he emerges on occasion to harass carpetbaggers and Yankees.