I think of this piece often when thinking about how it can be easy to be seen as combative when defending your concept of liberty. How easy it is to be dismissed as “Angry Dave” a moniker I did not invent, but did adopt. How often are the fights in our lives, really just part of one big fight?
“I’ve always thought of my life as a sequence of conflicts, each a separate battle, segregated in my mind under the heading, ‘My fight with these guys’ or ‘My fight with those guys.’ In thinking back now I realize I have regarded each fight as distinct and unrelated to the other, and have sometimes marveled how one man could have so many of them. I now realize it was all one fight; that the relation of each to the other was very close; and I am really no more combative than any other man. It just happened in my case that the original fight once undertaken, expanded marvelously into what seemed like many many fights and the most recent in a sequence of fights is actually no more than the current phase of he primary engagement. Since all men have at least one fight in their lives, and are not considered professional troublemakers because of it, the longer view reveals in me a citizen no less peaceful than his neighbors.”