Philip Leavell


The goal of everyone, as humans, is to be happy and give other people happiness. Algernon Sidney gives us the formula for happiness in his book, Court Maxims. He writes:

“There is no happiness without liberty… [and t]here is neither liberty nor happiness, where there is not virtue.”

We cannot be truly happy without freedom and we cannot be truly free without virtue.

Although having virtue is the key to being happy, restoring liberty is not as simple. In order for us to restore liberty and freedom, which is also necessary for happiness, every individual must perform their role and purpose in “his own way and degree.” The many parts of a machine work together to execute what they were created to do. The parts do not work by themselves to achieve a goal, they work together. Some pieces of the machine may be bigger than other pieces, but no part is more important than another.

In today’s society, many people may think that they are more important or better than someone else solely based on their grades or how much money they have. We need to recognize that each person is different. We all have different talents, but if we work together, we can make a machine that will change the world.

Just like when God created the world, we need to make a good order, or “Eunomius”, out of the chaos. It is disastrous to have one person, all by his imperfect self, deciding what is right and best for the rest of his peers. That is one reason a republican form of government is better than a dictatorship. Individuals with different ideas, different flaws, and different talents working together to help make the people more free, virtuous, and happy, is the only way to prevent tyranny. A machine with only one part is easily broken.

Some people may ask, “What is my purpose?” or “What role should I play?” That is for you to decide. Nobody, besides the creator, can tell a part of the machine what it is supposed to do. You know what your strengths and weaknesses are. You know what your talents and interests are. Something as simple as singing or plumbing, if that is what you are led to do, can greatly benefit the machine, as long as you are virtuous.

The path to restoring liberty will most likely be long and difficult. If the people return to being virtuous and playing their individual roles, the machine will be successful. Everyone will have the freedom, capability, and responsibility to be happy and protect the happiness of others.

~ Philip Leavell

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