Thursday, September 23, 2010

Last Thoughts on "The Mainspring of Human Progress"

{Continued blog}
The image on the left depicts the Israelites gathering manna. It's appropriate, I think, because they were completely dependent on God as they made their exodus from Egypt. What was God leading these former slaves toward? Their own land. Their own life. As they wandered in the wilderness for 40 years, He was teaching them about responsibility. And about progress. The Hebrews were the only nation on earth who understood it!

And that's what our book is talking about today: freedom and responsibility. To get the full message, you'll have to read the book, but it's well worth your time and effort. Easy reading. But the point of the book is that America covers all the human needs and many of its wants, because the mainspring of human progress is responsibility, and Americans have taken responsibility for their lives and families since the beginning of this country.
Freedom and Responsibility: If a robber breaks into your house with a gun, you'll probably tell him where your valuables are. A kidnapper might be a different story, but in both cases, you're in charge of your own thoughts and acts. Thousands of people have suffered torture and death without saying a word that their persecutors wanted them to say. The point is that whatever the circumstances, no amount of force can make you act unless you agree to it. This fact sets up two conclusions:

1) Individual freedom is the natural heritage of each living person.
2) Freedom cannot be separated from responsibility.

Your control over your own life-energy was born in you, along with life itself. It is a part of life itself. No one can give it to you, nor can you give it to someone else. You can't hold someone else responsible for your acts. Control can't be separated from responsibility; control IS responsibility!

Results versus Desires: To use any kind of energy effectively, you must understand the nature of the energy and then set up conditions that will permit it to work to its best advantage. To make the most of human energy, you must reckon with the nature of man. Other species follow certain patterns of behavior and action, but a man is different because he is a human being, who has the power of reason and imagination. He can capitalize on experiences both past and present as bearing on problems of the future. He can even change himself and his environment. In fact, he has the ability to progress and keep on progressing.

Plants contend for space, and animals are possessive of their space, but man has enormous powers to make new things and to change old things into new forms. He not only owns property, but he can also create property. In the last analysis, a thing is not property unless it's owned; and without ownership, there is little incentive to improve it.

So what is the conclusion of this whole matter? That America is a great nation because our people took responsibility for their lives and their families. Our good lives are based on our economic wealth. If we go too far toward a society that doesn't add to that wealth, and instead drains it, our society will suffer. In other words--and in Weaver's words--we can't fall for the false idea of a Utopian society. We must hold steadfast to the faith of our fathers and become alert in resisting the promises of false Utopias, which for over 6,000 years have kept the vast majority of people starving, poorly clothed, fighting wars, and surrounded by famine, disease, and degrading lives.

I have used 3 blogs to talk about this book because I believe it's important for all of us to think about these kinds of principles. If you want to pursue this line of thinking, buy the book! Life is good and we are soooooo blessed!

Blessings to all of you...Mimi

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