From birth, I was exposed to conservative values. Growing older, however, I became more isolated and, as a result of family issues, I began immersing myself in television and pop culture. Slowly, father’s values became less attractive.
Under the impression that political discussions were for adults, I avoided being politically informed. Until my freshman year of college, I led a selfish life of criticizing existing systems, rejecting religion, and focusing only on making myself feel good, whatever the cost. To me, the world was a dark and terrible place. It was only through an interaction with a professor that I was able to escape my own mental prison, forcing me to reconsider my preconceptions and question my opinions.
Just before my 14th birthday, I was molested by a family member which resulted in me living alone with my father. During this time spent watching television and movies, I noticed that traits such as drinking in excess, using profanity, being ostentatious, and of course denying God’s existence, when expressed by some people yielded positive feedback from others. To fit in, I began to incorporate these traits into myself, but instead became depressed and angry with the world.
I believed that I had been given a raw deal by the universe and couldn’t understand why some people suffer more than others through no fault of their own. I was already pessimistic to the idea of an “equality of suffering,” resigning myself to the thought that some people are simply going to be better off than others. I devoted my time to making as much money as possible to at least be able to supplement the vices that gave me a temporary relief from the world.
My freshman year at college I skipped most of my classes— only working hard enough to scrape by. Somehow, I was lucky enough to take a microeconomics course with a brilliant professor, which sparked my interest in the subject. Among other things, he helped me understand price control laws and their negative effects on microeconomic interactions. I found use for this nugget of knowledge in the most unlikely of places— an introductory biology lecture— the subject of which where the uses of ventral photophores. During the lecture, the professor began explaining, unprovoked, how important price control laws were for the wellbeing of the nation. Having already learned that this was factually incorrect, and moreover has nothing to do with the subject material, I saw it for what it was, a political opinion disguised as a scholarly explanation.
I found my mind rushing back to every point in my development where I simply took an adults opinion at face value. I started reading books about “coming of age” politically and discovering your own opinions. One of these books was Ben Shapiro’s Brainwashed. I read it and then started watching both Shapiro’s and Andrew Klavan’s podcast. This brought me not only to a value system that promotes a healthier and more productive lifestyle, but towards religion as well. The improvement to my quality of life has been a direct result of me taking responsibility for my own actions, well-being, and future. I’ve become certain it is nobody’s responsibility to deal with my problems, and that even if they did I would likely be worse off in the long run.
These experiences pushed me to recognize that in life you must have a direction to make progress. To have a direction you must have a purpose. I had no direction and I had a worldview that made me believe that having one was futile— trapping myself in a way that a lot of people my age have as well. It seems certain that the only way to escape that trap is to figure out that one has built it around themselves in the first place.
The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.