There’s a feeling we had on this day seventeen years ago that we hadn’t felt three days earlier. There was compassion, hurt, worry, also resolve. And more than anything there was a sense of oneness. A sense that we are all Americans now. Party didn’t matter. Ethnicity didn’t matter. People around the world stood with us—not looking down on us, or pitying us, but loving us and standing alongside us in our time of distress.
|Flag in the aftermath 9-11-2018|
image from NBC News
There’s a feeling we had a year ago in Houston last year, after the 50+-inch deluge that came with Hurricane Harvey. Neighbors helped neighbors. And everyone was our neighbor. People came in from well outside Houston. The Cajun Navy, as they came to be called, were neighbors with boats that set out from Louisiana to bring their small fishing boats to help rescue flood victims. People fed one another, and housed one another. Sometimes long term, since it took from several months to more than a year to get many homes back to habitable—some are still not. People helped each other muck out the debris, and clean, and dry out, and then begin the rebuild. People gave of their time and money.
Nobody asked, before offering help, “Are you part of my tribe?” No one cared about race, ethnicity, religion, political party. We were all people. We were all Houstonians. Even people from far outside the city, and even beyond the country’s borders.
|My friends Derrick and Gloria, after Harvey (their 3rd flood)|
The photo is his.
Right now there’s a disaster about to hit the southern east coast, aiming at Georgia and the Carolinas. More than a million have been evacuated. Sometimes these things turn out to be less than predicted, but sometimes—as we know around here—the worst case scenario shows up. So right now we’re all sending our prayers that direction. I heard there was a call for the Cajun Navy to re-deploy. Again, no one will be asking whether those in need are of a particular tribe: color, party, ideology. We’re all Americans, all humans, pulling together for those of us in harm’s way.
|radar screen shot from CBS News|
Can we agree that the oneness we feel under these circumstances is a good thing? I’m assuming if you’re reading this, you’re civilized enough to believe this is true.
We know how to get the unity: suffer a calamity.
What we need to know is how to get the unity without the calamity.
I don’t know the answer. Well, not true. I do know. Choose life in the freedom, prosperity, and civilization zones. Live by the rules that get us there. Do it individually, and then share your ways with the next generation, and with your larger circle of influence.
So, individually choose ultimate good: that’s the way to move from the fragmented, tribal culture that is making us simultaneously less unified and less individual. Persuading people—many people persuaded one by one—to choose ultimate good, that’s the challenge. I’m not sure how we’ll accomplish that.
But, in my personal, very small crusade toward that end, here’s a review of the ways to get ourselves up into freedom, prosperity, and civilization, according to the Spherical Model.
|The Political Sphere|
· Keep government limited to the proper role of government: protection of life, liberty, and property.
· Ask these questions:
o Is the policy being debated something that an individual has the right to do, and therefore has the right to delegate to his/her government?
o Does the policy infringe in any way on the rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights?
We’re born naked, impoverished, and inexperienced. It is by growth, hard work, and gaining in expertise that we try to overcome this condition throughout our life. We are born with the right to life, the right to live free (not enslaved), and the right to pursue our own path to overcome the naked impoverished state.
|The Economic Sphere|
Prosperity comes when we are free to work, build our wealth (the results of work beyond subsistence), and choose how to spend the results of our work. In short, we need a free market. Not a crony capitalist economy. Not a highly regulated economy with government favoring various players. Not an economy of monopolies. But a true free market.
Policies should always be guaranteeing the right to enjoy the fruits of your labor.
Prosperity is tightly tied to civilization. Because we need people acting honestly, people who are trustworthy.
And we also need generous people who are willing to help those who cannot help themselves.
So the answer to prosperity is a free market—which is the engine for creation of wealth—combined with philanthropy.
Civilization requires a critical mass of people living the laws of civilization. These are simple but not easy things:
· A religious people.
· Strong families.
The religion we’re talking about is fairly broad and free. We need to believe that God is our creator, and we are held accountable to Him for how we live our life. He has provided a moral code that we are bound to follow.
|The Social Sphere|
The moral code is identified in the Ten Commandments, among other places: honor God, family, life, truth, and property.
These laws can be lived individually. But the smallest unit of civilization—living among civilized people—is the family. So we need to clarify what valuing family looks like.
Religious freedom is required for civilization. God is essential, because He is the giver of rights. Anything excluding God limits our rights to whatever the person or entity chooses to grant.
Civilized societies value family as the most important and basic unit of governance. Alternatively, a hallmark of totalitarian regimes, which are savage, is the replacement of the family with the state. Totalitarianism resents loyalty to any societal unit other than itself. And it is this absolute weakness that will always prevent a totalitarian state from offering true Civilization as you’d find it in a free strong-family society.
We have a lot of evidence, from thousands of years of history, to show that strong families, and hence strong civilizations, do not happen without protecting marriage: a man and woman committed and exclusive for life, raising their own children. Such families allow civilization to perpetuate, against the strong pull of chaos and tyranny.
So, if we’re going to be united, without being compelled by catastrophe, we need to do it by being a people who love freedom, prosperity, and civilization, and willingly live the laws that get us there.