My Journey: The Formative Years
While reading this piece and its subsequent continuations, it should be noted that we all have a story. That is to say, we are all who we are today because of our journey. “Shit” happens, and “shit” shapes us, as much as or more than the “non-shit”.
It is somewhat popular within the libertarian community to ask others “from whence did you come?” That someone “arrived” at the libertarian philosophy is the obvious inference, due in part to the sheer number of us that that are willing to admit that libertarians are not “born”. It is often quite easy to tell, after a brief discussion, from which side of the false paradigm a particular libertarian arrived. Someone who has arrived from the “left” will speak more passionately about social issues while those whose arrival moved them from the “right” will be more spirited about the economic aspect of the philosophy.
There is no one path to any destination. The journey, while interesting and relevant, is minimized in the face of the actual arrival. As hard as the journey was for me, I have certainly found it to be less frustrating than what I have faced after “arriving”. While I would not return to my past mentality, this frustration absolutely serves to create a soft longing to trade what I know now for the seemingly blissful ignorance of my former self.
I share my story as one part testimony, with the hope that it may help someone complete their journey, one part anecdote, with the hope that it may help kindred spirits revisit their journey with a smile, and one part therapy, with the hope that the act of sharing a brief detail of my journey will bring a measure of peace to the wolves that still battle within my being.
This is my journey.
I was born.
As a male child of the South, I was brought up like many of my brethren who were born of my era. I was taught to say “yes sir” and “yes ma’am”, to respect my elders, and to act in a “chivalrous” manner toward the the “fairer” sex. A heavy indoctrination in my formative years with the teachings of Evangelical Christianity sufficiently ensured that I would grow up culturally sound and parroting the mentality that had pervaded the Southern man for generations. It is for this reason that I look back on my childhood with a mixture of both fondness and regret.
The fondness stems from my yearning to return to a time and place where things seemed much more simple. It was a time in my life when the world surrounding me made sense. My piece of the South seemed a million miles away from the troubles that plagued other parts of the world: Lebanon, Libya, Iran, the Soviet Union, and even other parts of these united States. The South was its own world, barely touched by the problems of the “outside world” in the eyes of my child-self. It was a sheltered existence; one that would crash down around me in the years to come.
I look back upon these years with regret simply because a Son of the South at that time was prepared only for the world that he was born into, not for the world to come. As a child, I devoured any book that I could find, constantly feeding my head with subjects that were barely thought about by those who were in my life at that time. When the inevitable questions that would pass over my lips would be exhaled, those elders would stare blankly at me or simply dismiss such subject matter as “communist propaganda” or “thoughts of the Devil”. It was ingrained in me that questions were a bad thing, logic and reason would damn a person to Hell, and any thought spoken aloud that was outside the mainstream would certainly be rewarded with, at best, suspicion and, at worst, a societal shunning.
And so, I closed my eyes, and I went to sleep.
Complete article: http://intendtooffend.com/?p=63