Live Free

If I were to give any piece of advice to a young person, especially a libertarian, it would be this: stay free.

Of course, you’re going to wonder: What does it mean to be free?

I can’t really answer that question for you, because freedom means something different for each person. For eons, the sea was a source of liberty, ships the vessel toward achieving it (see Captain Nemo). In other eras, it was cars.

For me, the mountains are a symbol of freedom.

Another good way to define it is by defining it’s opposite. As one replicant put it in Blade Runner, “quite an experience to live in fear, isn’t it? It’s what it’s like to be slave.”

This does not mean that you should avoid responsibility. It means that you should take on responsibilities only when you’re given the appropriate amount of authority to handle it. A man who has authority and no responsibility is either a tyrant or a master; the man who has responsibility but no authority is a slave.

Don’t be a slave.

This is a general principle and rule you should adopt. Anytime you’re asked to commit to something, to do anything, you should find out what your responsibilities are and what power you’re given as a result. A few examples that come to mind are student loans, marriage, employment, home ownership, etc. In most instances, avoid debt. Your ability to walk away from a situation unburdened with continuing obligations is a borderline superpower. A person who has no debts and no constraints has a degree of power and freedom few will ever know.

To be free means that you have the ability to pursue whatever ambitions or dreams you want without constraints borne on you that you have no control over. It means reducing the amount of control any one person has over your life.

To remain free means you must make it a priority, and it must govern all actions you take. It must be a first principle.

For those of you starting out in life within the Western world, understand this: You have been bestowed with personal liberty your ancestors never knew. If you don’t squander it, you will realize a level of freedom few have or ever will experience. It will not solve all your problems or desires, but it will offer you the best opportunity to live life on your terms.

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