What’s an Outlaw to Do?
When all the world has gone insane … when all the news about freedom is bad … when you’re tempted to say, “Screw it” and give up hope, remember:
We are a silent army
An army of the mind. An army without hierarchy, without officers, without commands. We are an army of the intellect and the spirit that can never be targeted, bombed, or shot into submission. We are invisible, which sometimes discourages us, but which is our secret strength.
We are masters of subversion
The subtle statement that gets our neighbors thinking. The helping hand extended. The act of independence. The idea that bursts the boundaries of the box. These are our weapons. The power of self-defense is the defense of all. The power of one person to change minds becomes the power of many minds changed. The power of defiance is a beginning. The far stronger power of creative disregard becomes a weapon of mass construction. Just when change seems most unlikely … change happens. Shrug Withdraw your consent. Stop cooperating. You have no obligation to bear all the world’s pains. You have no duty to accept whatever’s imposed upon you against your will. The only obligations you must carry are your self-obligations —and with creativity they may be made lighter. You owe nothing to those who want only to use and abuse you. You owe everything to your highest self. Live Don’t let the bastards grind you down. Don’t grind yourself down by focusing on the bastards. Have a life. Have your life.
Be a trickster
It tips the hierarchy. It enlivens the world. It surprises. It generates thought. It’s fun. It annoys the bastards. Why not? Be dashing Like a True Outlaw. It beats the heck out of being dashed. Breathe Pray. Meditate. Watch a sunrise. What works for you. Freedom is spiritual before (and after) it’s political.
We are everywhere
The man next to you on the subway may be a Freedom Outlaw. The woman who does your hair. The bright young college student running for student-body president. The kid who delivers your pizza. The little girl across the street playing with her cat. You may never know them. But your allies, or potential allies, are out there. Everywhere. Anywhere.
When all around you are following fads, pursuing witch hunts, or reacting hysterically to the moment’s cynically managed news, be steady. Later, you’ll have nothing to regret while others —if they’re at all conscious —come to their senses and blush at the follies that swept them out of their sanity. We will never “fix the world” but … We can form a web of light around it. We can en-light-en ourselves, lighten our load, and throw some rays into the darkness. We can go sane and lead a few along the way.