What I’m fighting for
I’ve been wanting to start a blog for awhile now, to chronicle my experience with Open Source Ecology. I plan on using this blog both as a log to track my progress on the projects I do for OSE, and as a personal blog, to show what life on the battle field is like.
However, first things first, I’ll explain why this means so much to me, and why I’m willing to give so much to see this project succeed. I’ll start with a little story.
Today, I spent the afternoon as many afternoons in the past years have been spent: in discussion with my grandfather.
Our visits are generally rather formulaic: they begin with me strolling unexpected into his office and asking for his advice on whichever project I happen to be working on. Sometimes he answers my questions. Sometimes, he ends up asking the questions and I end up playing teacher. Sometimes, I play the fool. If I’m lucky, he’ll say that sentence I’m always searching for from him: “Well, that’s great, Honey!”
Inevitably, the conversation leads to him bragging to me. But bragging isn’t the right word. Bragging is what children do when they are trying to make themselves seem impressive. My grandfather simply speaks of the unlikely and wonderful things he’s accomplished, in a matter-of-fact tone which would suggest that these accomplishments are really nothing out of the ordinary. I can tell, though, that he’s very proud of himself, and that he is telling me these things to impress me, because I understand and appreciate them, as few of his grandchildren do. He tells me stories of all of the unique and bizarre construction jobs he’s gotten throughout the years. Stories of unlikely characters he’s met, of disasters averted, of creative solutions, of innovation, of wild, undreamt-of success. I listen, dumbstruck, wondering at my fortune of having descended from a man like him, and hoping I can live up to a man of his aptitude and morality.
Sometimes, I leave his office optimistic, and with incredible clarity; in my grandfathers presence, anything is possible. Man is most certainly the master of his surroundings, and the world is a playplace for him to build up. The world seems so simple and wonderful.
Yet other times, I leave nearly in tears. Today, that was the case. All was well initially; we discussed my Ironworker design for OSE, and I asked his opinion on a certain concrete mixer. He told me about how he was the first builder in Southern CA to make a quick attach bucket for his backhoe. At the time these were unheard of. They have since spread everywhere. He told me a story about how he nearly tipped his first 100 ton crane. All was well indeed.
Yet, as I was leaving, the sorrow hit, as it often does. Men like him are a dying breed, suffocating under our oppressive government. There is no place for them in the place our country, our world, is becoming. There is no place for a company like Enniss Enterprises was. No place for that carefree expansion. No place for the “I can build anything” attitude.
At one point in my life, my lifes mission was to rebuild the business, to “return it to its former splendor.” Somewhere along the way, I realized this was no longer possible. Sure, there are still people building out there. Every time I drive through downtown, I see at least 6 tower cranes. I could probably gather enough stamina for the company to become one of those builders again. But they are building for a world in which I want no part of: a world in which one must ask permission to produce. A world in which a piece of ill-conceived text can shut down an entire fleet of trucks.
So now we get to the point of my story: why I’m working for OSE.
I am working for men like my grandfather.
I am working for their world. A world in which men are free to create and build and breathe without asking permission. A world where a mans success depends on the merit of his product. Where men stand on their own words and their own two feet and fail or succeed accordingly.
I’m fighting for a world in which there is a tomorrow. The world in which I don’t have to worry about legislators stealing everything I have ever worked for.
I am working for America as it used to be; a land of limitless opportunity.
OSE is the only way I see how. It is the only way I see to make myself independent of mainstream society, and to free myself from Uncle Sam. It is the only way to return my life to my own posession. I don’t know if OSE will succeed, but I know I will give everything I can to see it do so.