So, now what are you going to do?
For most people, it’s just another Monday. We remembered yesterday, reminisced, maybe read some stories from that day, watched a profile or a service on TV, maybe even shed a few tears. For most people, it’s time to get back to normal life, to put that bad stuff behind us. Ten years is enough remembering right?
But for a few of you, doubt remains. Is this all there is? Is this normalcy what I’m supposed to be doing?
If you will allow me, I am talking to you, the latter who have doubts.
Everything did change ten years ago yesterday. Our enemies revealed the flaws in the great city shining on the hill that is the United States. We made those flaws cracks by our own incessant disunity. Now everything is crumbling.
Yet, this is not the end.
The history of the human race is one of ebbs and flows. Great nations rise, only to crumble and collapse, then to be replaced by others. Throughout it all, people endure as they always have.
The great revelation the United States brought to the world is the notion of the equal liberty of all individuals, regardless of race, creed, color, sex, or religion. No, this has not been an easy or consistent revelation, but the cause of individual liberty is not one that will die even if the United States does.
And in that cause, I find a new beginning. It is almost inevitable that the United States will be replaced by something else, whether that happens now or at some time in the future. For those of us who have the benefit of history, intellect, and foresight, the thing that must now confront us is the realization that we must prepare now for whatever might come next.
What do these preparations look like? Well, if the foundation of this next era is the cause of individual liberty, then such preparations must conform to that foundation.
What we know about liberty is that it is not a license but a responsibility. Liberty has a cost that has to be paid, and the cost of liberty, in the end, is every individual’s responsibility.
What that means, to me, is that we must prepare for whatever comes next by focusing on the nature of the cost of liberty. To me, the nature of that cost is every individual succeeding on the merits of his or her own effort.
Now, this kind of success is not some sort of idealistic individualism. It is not possible for most people to survive without the benefit of others. However, every person must dedicate himself to the fulfillment of the tasks he undertakes, figuring out how to minimize his burden to others while creating the maximum benefit.
In fact, that state of affairs—everyone working together to their maximum potential—represents the way that some of the most fantastic advancements in human history have occurred: the Renaissance, the Enlightenment, the Scientific Revolution.
So what remains is for each person to figure out how to best be a part of that state of affairs in the face of whatever might come next. This realization happens as each person discovers the best way to apply his effort within communities that will best benefit from that effort.
I grant that this is not an easy task, but if you believe that there has to be something more, then it is a necessary task.
It is my hope and my prayer that you will realize these things for yourself and will join me in accepting this challenge in the time to come.