This article was originally published here, and featured in The Advocates for Self-Government weekly newsletter, the Liberator Online. To receive it in your inbox, sign up here.
In my elementary school years, we participated in Show & Tell, an opportunity to share with the class something neat or unique and lead a discussion about it. The concept was a simple, yet effective way to prepare young people to speak in front of groups.
Even as adults, this provides us with a lesson in effective outreach to non-libertarians. We need to show that libertarians live their lives in a peaceful, voluntary way…The libertarian lifestyle.
What makes this outreach effective is that, when you live your life like you would in a libertarian society, it never turns off. There are no booths to shut down. There are no hours of operation. It’s a constant, effective outreach that can easily attract others to libertarianism.
How can you do it?
- Before you speak about Liberty, show it with how you live your life.
Are you using force or fraud as a means to an end? Or are you someone who offers only honest, voluntary cooperation in your dealings in business and relationships? The latter is very libertarian, while the former is the antithesis of libertarian thought. In a situation where force or fraud is used, it’s unlikely that all parties will be better off. When every interaction is agreed to by all parties, everyone benefits. <– That’s a libertarian interaction. Let’s strive to live that way.
- Before you tell me how much libertarianism means to you, show me that you understand what it means.
Are you constantly dictating to others how they “should” do things or live their life? Or are you setting a positive example and persuading those who seek your counsel? A positive example goes much further than unsolicited advice on a single area of concern. It also brings you to the forefront of those to ask when advice is necessary.
- Before you preach the principles of Liberty, teach me about it with your actions.
Being a shining example of what a libertarian is gives those who have little to no exposure to libertarians a very positive impression of who we are. I know libertarians to be very caring, friendly, and generous, despite the societal meme depicting us as selfish, heartless loners. Let’s break that meme!
Are you ready to show what it means to be a libertarian? Once you’ve committed to that, your words about libertarianism will carry far more weight, and you will attract more people to the beauty that is Liberty.