Monday, March 10, 2008

Objectivists Can Make A Difference

If you are an Objectivist who is interested in challenging some of the ideas pervasive in our culture these days, but maybe don't know how to get started and need ideas, please read this post by Paul at NoodleFood. It's a gold mine of ideas and inspiration.

I realized a few years ago that merely being disgusted with the way things are going in our culture wasn't going to get me anywhere. :o) I had gotten to a place in my life where I just didn't mention Objectivism or Ayn Rand to people when discussions about ideas came up. Sure, some of my friends knew I had unusual political views and that I was an atheist, but for some reason, I only rarely mentioned Ayn Rand. I think that had much to do with the fact that I exhausted my willingness to argue ad nauseam about these ideas way back in college.

I continued to study Ayn Rand and support the ARI, and while that of course is enriching in its own way, I wanted to do something more. I started up this blog, but even then, didn't mention Objectivism too much, although admittedly, the blog was originally planned just for friends and family--I never imagined it would take off the way it has.

But I live in a land of Christian fish symbols on cars. Where people proudly display their philosophic and religious values on their vehicles. Then I decided to do the same thing--in part, to let people know that, no, not everyone around here thinks the same way they do. I began to write a bit more about Objectivism on my blog, and to mention it more with my non-Oist friends. It felt good! I began to consider how to use Objectivist ideas to best raise the small humans we have living in the house with us. I started to write letters to my local legislators, and to the AJC. I joined the OBloggers list and that was an inspiration, too--to blog better and to be more clear in my thinking about ideas.

I have started to realize that just by being a voice out there, waving a good idea in the air and presenting it in a non-confrontational manner, that people will respond. No--not everyone I meet will suddenly come to the same conclusions that I have. But I have met more people than I imagined who were at least open to some of Ayn Rand's ideas. Who are willing to have a friendly conversation about them, even if we can't come to an agreement. I have "met" so many others through this blog who have been positive about Objectivist ideas, and who have been willing to say so. It's all been extremely encouraging to me--as someone who used to be frustrated to no end, "debating" minutiae with people who were less interested in ideas and more interested in winning an argument.

I believe this is the kind of activism that Paul is talking about in the above article, that Diana is encouraging through the OActivists list, and that Yaron Brook is suggesting. And it's needed, too, not just to disseminate Ayn Rand's ideas into our culture in a positive way, but for me, myself. I need to do something for my own sanity to try to improve our culture, to make things better for me and my family. I have found much satisfaction in my own small efforts, I'm happy to say.

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