JANUARY 01, 1968 by JOAN WILKE
Miss Wilke is an advertising writer.
If you’re familiar with English detective stories, you know that "hello" is much more than a salutation. It’s a surprise!
It’s what every good English detective says when he stumbles upon a previously overlooked, wonderful, important, delightful little clue that is sure to unravel the whole mystery.
That’s why "hello" is such a fine greeting — whether to a stranger or an old friend. It’s the expectation of discovery. The anticipation of some new and wonderful revelation… or some new meaning in something long familiar.
Freedom is the only philosophy that treats life realistically—as a mystery that will unravel surprise by surprise.
Only freedom can accommodate the day-to-day surprises that arise from truth and error, wisdom and folly, the simple and complex, the limited and limitless.
It allows for disappointments and failures as well as success. Everyone benefits freely (and willingly!) from success when it happens, but no one is forced to share another’s failure unless all futures are bound up through a collective. So freedom magnifies and spreads success and minimizes and confines failure. Collectivism does just the opposite.
Freedom offers no pat answers to pat problems because it always anticipates some new discovery or variation.
Collectivism proudly asserts it has the answers, and concretizes them into laws, thereby perpetuating the old and obstructing the new.
Freedom treats life as a process, not a thing. A continuous happening, not something that happened. So it is an invitation to life, not an encroachment on it. It is a beckoning, not a coercive force. It recognizes life as a series of beginnings.
All forms of materialistic collectivism treat life as though it’s over, in the sense that it is predictable. It is so preoccupied with the present that it rejects the past and considers the future a projection of the present.
It worships "change" but, being oriented to the current situation, considers change simply a rearrangement of existing conditions, intellectually contrived and politically manipulated. It never anticipates real change… only repetition of existing conditions.
In limiting life to its own predictions, it necessarily brings about the conditions it predicted, since life only repeats itself when restricted.
Freedom recognizes that life’s secrets already exist and lie undiscovered, waiting to be stumbled upon in a series of delighted "hellos." Collectivism drearily limits itself to the idea that what is discovered is what exists, so it mechanically distributes the accumulated surprises of the past without allowing for the continuing surprise of new discovery.
Freedom is nourished by expectation.
Collectivism cannot survive without fears… real or imaginary… grouped together and therefore exchanged and exaggerated in such hand-holding gatherings as unions and pressure groups or any combination formed for the force that will allay its fears.
The future is determined largely by the choice individuals make between expecting the best or the worst.
Whereas fear paralyzes, expectation energizes.
The most remarkable person I know… and the freest… always seems to have this air of anticipation about him. When he comes through a door or around a corner, he has the manner of one who has heard a firecracker go off and has come to see what the celebration is all about. He’s in a state of perpetual "hello!" With his attitude, I doubt that he’s ever disappointed, because he would see the most ordinary thing with extraordinary delight.
His attitude strikes me as that which is most appropriate for a free man.