I’ve taken the liberty,( For good or ill) of copying word for word the essay you see below. I take no credit at all for its configuration or the message it conveys. I simply agree with it. I seek no financial gain or recognition from sharing this essay. I sincerely hope there are no lawsuits in my future because of my sharing this with you my loyal family of followers.
I’ve been a fan of the writings of Hunter Stockton Thompson since the1980’s when I first read Fear and loathing in Las Vegas. I suppose it help’s to be a little quirky when reading Dr. Thompson’s work, ( I am ) he was a one-of-a-kind man and writer. He had a backbone of tempered steel and the tongue of an adder when provoked. I felt this essay written in 1955 when Hunter was a high school senior fits perfectly in today’s world, and I felt compelled to share it with you. Here is a link if you would like to learn more about Hunter S Thompson. Also, here is a link to my previous blog, it explains why the shift in focus for Roadtofreedom98.com.
Security, what does this word mean in relation to life as we know it today? For the most part, it means safety and freedom from worry. It is said to be the end that all men strive for; but is security a utopian goal or is it another word for rut?
Let us visualize the secure man; and by this term, I mean a man who has settled for financial and personal security for his goal in life. In general, he is a man who has pushed ambition and initiative aside and settled down, so to speak, in a boring, but safe and comfortable rut for the rest of his life. His future is but an extension of his present, and he accepts it as such with a complacent shrug of his shoulders.
His ideas and ideals are those of society in general and he is accepted as a respectable, but average and prosaic man. But is he a man? Has he any self-respect or pride in himself? How could he, when he risked nothing and gained nothing? What does he think when he sees his youthful dreams of adventure, accomplishment, travel, and romance buried under the cloak of conformity?
How does he feel when he realizes that he has barely tasted the meal of life; when he sees the prison he has made for himself in pursuit of the almighty dollar, fine, but think of the tragedy of a man who has sacrificed his freedom on the altar of security, and wishes he could turn back the hands of time.
A man is to be pitied who lacked the courage to accept the challenge of freedom and depart from the cushion of security and see life as it is instead of living it second-hand. Life has by-passed this man and he has watched from a secure place, afraid to seek anything better. What has he done except to sit and wait for the tomorrow which never comes?
Turn back the pages of history and see the men who have shaped the destiny of the world. Security was never theirs, but they lived rather than existed. Where would the world be if all men had sought security and not taken risks or gambled with their lives on the chance that if they won, life would be different and richer?
It is from the bystander (who are in the vast majority) that we receive the propaganda that life is not worth living, that life is drudgery, that the ambitions of youth must be laid aside for a life which is but a painful wait for death.
These are the ones who squeeze what excitement they can from life out of the imaginations and experiences of others through books and movies. These are the insignificant and forgotten men who dream at night of what could have been, but who wake at dawn to take their place at the now-familiar rut and to merely exist through another day.
For them, the romance of life is long dead and they are forced to go through the years on a treadmill, cursing their existence, yet afraid to die because of the unknown which faces them after death. They lacked the only true courage; the kind which enables men to face the unknown regardless of the consequences.
As an afterthought, it seems hardly proper to write of life without once mentioning happiness; so we shall let the reader answer this question for himself; who is the happier man, he who has braved the storm of life and lived or he who has stayed securely on shore and merely existed?
Hunter S Thompson 1955