Let's (Not) Change the World!
I just finished it yesterday and can’t believe how different I am already. How freer (me, always so proud of my freedom!). It really is a handbook for personal liberty. It’s so selfish that at times it even angered me (me, selfish as they come!). But then, well looked, the book’s an extended version of that famous parable, existing in some version in most cultures:
Or as Harry put it
A direct alternative is one that requires only direct action by yourself to get a desired result.An indirect alternative requires that you act to make someone else do what is necessary to achieve your objective.
Once you’ve seen the positions and attitudes of the other people involved, a direct alternative requires only that you make a decision; an indirect alternative requires that you change the attitude of one or more other persons so that they will do what it is you want.The recognition of the two types of alternatives is one of the most important keys to freedom. Most people automatically think in terms of indirect alternatives — who must be changed, how people must be educated, what others should be doing. Consequently, they spend most of their lives in futile efforts to achieve what can’t be achieved — the remaking of others.
In any situation, a free individual immediately looks first at the identities of the other people involved and appraises the situation by the simple standard: Is this what I want for myself? If it isn’t, he looks elsewhere. If it is, he relaxes and enjoys the situation to the maximum — without the problems that most people take for granted.
He automatically thinks in terms of direct alternatives. He asks himself, “With things as they are, what can I do by myself to make things better for myself?”
I’m gonna be Switzerland. Mind my business. Be my own man. Neutral. Flexible. Pragmatic. Quiet. Living my own, happy, private life. Free in an unfree world.