It was April 1, but it was no joke. My friend and feisty fellow constitutionalist Paul Caudell had died. I had talked with him just a few hours previously, and I didn’t even know he was ill. When Jerry Titus called me the next day with the news, I was jarred, as if from sleep. Yes, I was sad. But I was also angry with myself and feeling inconsolably stupid. Sure, mortality is a problem. But wasting life and opportunity and talent is an inexcusable crime.
You see, here’s the scoop: I’d given up. I was flat disgusted with voters, non-voters, citizens and even my allies. I was feeling hurt and betrayed by people who’d made and broken promises, by all the work and all the expense and all the failure…I was feeling sorry for myself that I lost my political races, lost my social campaigns, and, dang it, lost my business. I thought it was time for me to not just leave Indiana, but leave behind all the failed hopes.
Paul spent time in his final hours trying his best to bring me back; not just to Indiana, but to what I’d become all about for the past fifteen years. I listened to him impatiently. I was at work and feeling as though I was listening to futility. I hope I wasn’t rude. I pray to God that I wasn’t rude…
But then he went and died. And I was slapped again with a most important and casually dismissed lesson. Life is precious, and short.
My friends, what are we doing with our lives?
I spent half of my years in the “education system” before starting my life, and my life is probably a little more than half over (I’ve got longevity in my family profile). Given all our marvelous “time saving” devices and the world’s highest productivity per worker, we should be working two-day weeks on a pleasure cruise through life. And yet, the long hours away from home, little time spent with kids, and worsening statistics in physical and mental health make me wonder what the heck we think we’re doing to ourselves? And why?
Why waste so much time and wait so long to start living life? Why is that life and youth spent in such feverish pursuit of retirement and death?
Well, you should know.
It’s Tax Time again.
You know who you’re working for.
I still want to know, why?
Our lives are too short and life is such a sweet gift to waste it on politics and the sick pursuit of power over others. We should get our hands out of our fellows’ wallets and off of their lives and rights, and just enjoy short, sweet life.
OK, so we admit we’re all socialists now. The media have been working hard to paint a rosy face on this so you don’t recall the history of Pol Pot, Mao, Stalin, et al. They’ve been telling us that the best “right” (fascists) are much worse than the worst “left” (socialists), and that we can thank the elite for having saved us from the clutches of those like Hitler, Mussolini, and Tito.
Ours is a culture based and steeped in debt and violence. The violent taking of taxes, property and rights is how we get nice little park benches and politically-run car companies. Our debt-based currency/central banking model is why consumerism is good, and saving for your own retirement is bad. Our debts lead to desperation, the violence leads to more violence, and claiming that it’s all for the greater good of some abstraction like “state” is cave-man ignorant. It’s all failure, death, pain, and waste of irreplaceable, fleeting life.
Authoritarianism, whether you call it socialism, fascism, serfdom or just Standard Operating Procedure, is stinking foul and self-destructive-dumb. I’m sick and stupid for thinking I could just give in to it while I still have the breath of life in me.
I am sorry, Paul. Not that you died, really; I know you’re in a much better place than I am. But I’m sorry that I wasted time, and you had to call me on it. I’m sorry that I was hardly there when you called. I’m sorry that I had given up.
I may not be able to stay in Indiana as you’d wished. But I now promise that you did not call in vain. I will not give up.