One Man Versus the World

by Christian Thomas Golden

Quite a dramatic title. Over the top? Yes, but it’s a perception that I believe most, if not all, people hold periodically each day, week, month, year, whatever. Is that a bad thing? Is it a sickness? Does it call for a remedy? Or is it healthy? Does it push us to either (1) stress to the point of physical sickness or (2) analyze our selves for changes we may need to make to our own thoughts, feelings, actions, and reactions?

I choose to believe it is a blessing. It is a struggle (a great one at that), but (not to get too hokey) it’s part of what makes us human. For one man (I use “man” in the “mankind” sense) to surrender his problems to the jurisdiction of another is potentially dehumanizing as it is. When a group of men forceably rob another man of his ability to work through his own problems, that’s murder!

Let’s look at a comparison of a free life versus a life in prison. The man who is free wakes up and does sone sort of version of the following: picks out his clothes for the day, takes a nice hot shower, gets dressed, makes some coffee, and reads the paper before leaving for work.

The man in prison is woken up by a man who detests him (and whom he probably detests as well), his clothes are already picked for him (they are the same every day), he takes a 5 minute cold shower (next to another man he detests), he gets dressed, and does nothing that is not first approved (again, by a man who detests him and whom he detests) for the rest of the day (every day for the rest of his sentence).

That’s a simplified, G-rated comparison, but truth nonetheless. As an individual citizen of the United states, which of the two am I closer to living in? Let’s put it this way: which example is closer to it’s real-world existence (my free man vs an American “free” man or my imprisoned man vs an American man in prison)? I would argue that my example of the free man would suggest great naivete on my part.

A man is woken up by a federal regulation-approved alarm clock, he gets up from his fed-reg-approved bed, his house is warm because he pays the fed-reg-approved electric company every month, etc…

Let’s not forget that man cannot even enjoy one of the essential blessings God (as I believe) has bestowed upon us (to enjoy our toilsome labor, for this is our lot). Work has now become a more restrictive prison within an illusory “free” world outside of work.

Who’s to blame? Us. Over the passed few generations, we’ve become (now this is slightly confusing) increasingly interdependently independent. We don’t care about each other, but we don’t rake care of ourselves. So we’ve now brought ourselves to the point of interdependence and dependence on government to take care of these problems which we should be voluntarily solving ourselves or with the assistance of others who wish to help us.

God help us. We certainly won’t, let alone our trustworthy government (which introduces hundreds-if not thousands of new regulations each year, in the name of “the good of the people”)! We relinquished our basic responsibilities and duties as individual citizens long ago. Now we’re living with the consequences. To change back to “better times” now would require the equivalent of turning a scrambled egg into a chicken. Maybe I’m just being pessimistic.