As a libertarian, I get told I am selfish all of the time. As a libertarian with children, I often get scolded about raising my children to be selfish. Is it true that I am selfish? Am I really raising my children to be selfish? Is community really important, is it something we should teach our kids about or should they be rugged individualist? These are some things I want to talk about today.
Here in our house we often speak about individuals and individual rights. We talk about self-governance and self-responsibility and how the collective does not have more rights than the individual. We talk about self-reliance, self-worth, self-discipline and other things to grow the person. This doesn’t mean my wife and I are teaching our children to be selfish. I encourage our son to go play with other kids and share if he wants to. I don’t force him to share and when his cousins come to me asking me to make him share I simply ask “whose toy is it”? and when if it is my sons then I tell them they must ask him. I encourage my son to share as I think it is a nice and wonderful thing to do but I want him to do it of his own will.
What about community?
This is often brought up. Us libertarians do not care about the community. I would disagree! I often stress the importance for people to be active in the community in some way. Instead of begging for help from D.C. get help from your neighbors. Help shape your community the way you want. Take part in local elections, show your children what it means to serve your community and how neighbors can come together and help each other without being forced. Show them by your actions how you can make the state help unnecessary. We, twice a year, donate some of our possessions and money. We encourage our son to do the same, more about that later, though.
Do you even Charity bro?
Written in a dumb form but a question I receive nonetheless. We do participate in charity, we even volunteer if need be. Not as much now, with two children, one being eight months and me going to school full time but we do when we see the need. As stated above, we also donate. We have shown our son by example to donate money as well. We usually give him three different choices to choose from and he picks one. If he has his own we would donate to that one instead. He saves his own money from doing work around the house. Instead of giving small amount here and there we do have him save it for the twice a year donation. He has even received handwritten notes of thanks. This has encouraged him to do it again when he hears how it has helped.
So your not selfish?
This isn’t to say that I am not selfish, I am. We are all. There is no way around it. To say that I am selfish because of a political belief is absurd and to assume I am raising my children this way is even worse. I think it is safe to say that everybody has been and will be selfish again. Here in this house, though, we do stress the importance of the community and helping others in need, we just so happen to think we shouldn’t take your stuff to help our neighbors. We will give freely of our own. With that being said, I urge you to lead by example on how you and your children can help your community.