Declare Yourself

Many writers would use the writing device of aping the Declaration of independence in this space.  I won’t insult your intelligence by writing anything close to that.  However, it is necessary that we declare our independence from the New Crown, just as our spiritual ancestors rejected the monarchy that oppressed them.

I am not saying that we are to secede from any union, nor are we to take any action against any individual or collective.  We are not a bloody, violent people.  Our revolution comes from within. We know that in order to change a society, you must first start on the individual level.  We look around, and we see that which is fundamentally broken, and we know that now is a critical time of choosing.  Do we accept that the status quo is to be maintained, or do we demand something more from ourselves?  In demanding more from ourselves, do we commit to living intentionally, leading a life of purpose and personal ambition?  Do we embrace our passions and let them lead us to a new life of peace and prosperity?  Or, do we drive over broken roads and bridges to our job at the cubicle farm, harvesting our souls year after year until we retire or leave this plane of existence having never known the joy of building our own ship, setting sail for the greatest adventure of our lives?

There is no time to lose!  In fact, the best time to start was years ago.  However, I want to tell you something that your soul already knows.  On some level, you know this to be true, but you have been waiting for permission from some other outside force.  You no longer need permission from anyone, you are already liberated.  Here is the knowledge you already have, put into black and white: The next best time to start is now.

There you go.  You no longer need anyone to tell you that it is ok to live a life on your terms.  You don’t need forms signed in triplicate, you don’t need any sign off from the committee, you no longer need to wait for public opinion.  You may opt out.  You may dissent.  Most importantly, you may begin.

The New Press Gangs

Be forewarned, once you make this decision and commit to this, you will work harder than you ever have.  You will pour every part of yourself that is available into this new enterprise.  You’ll find very quickly as you progress on building your ship that people in your life will not like the new pirate you are becoming.  They will tell you that what you’re doing is risky, that there is no value to it.  They will plead with you and cajole you into giving it up.  They will tempt you with distractions, and then tell you that you’re not the same person you used to be when you tell them that you have a ship to build.  They’re right, of course!  You are not the person you used to be, you have declared yourself!  You are no longer part of the broken system, you are a pirate!  You are a force of joy and purpose, and you have a ship to build, a calling to fulfill.

These new press gangs will try to tempt and trick you into accepting the way things are.  In extreme cases, they will stage interventions involving others to drag you back to ‘reality’, rejoin the Crown, and get back to the things that ‘really matter’.  What matters more than the fundamental changing of yourself? What could be more vital than learning to live your life on your terms with joy in your heart and malice towards none?  What could be more important than finding that calling that allows you to help others as much as it helps you?

At the first sign of failure, the press gangs will take their opportunity to bring you back into the fold, telling you that you were bound to failure, and their way is easier.  But we know that once we have experienced the life of the New Pirate, once you have declared yourself free, going back is the failure.  In truth, you have not failed.  You succeeded where the press gangs have not.  The fact that you broke free is the ultimate success!

The Navy

Most of us have an authority figure in our lives that simply disapproves of what you’re doing, because this is not how the world works.  This is a person who has become jaded, and in a lot of cases, a person who had a dream that they had to give up in order to live in this world.  The Navy wants you to fall in line because they have to fall in line.  Why should you be any different?  It’s entirely possible that this authority figure in your life does not recognize the fundamental changes in the world that allow you to do this, where they could not.  It’s also possible that they do, and instead of cheering you, or possibly living vicariously through you, they would rather you adapt to their jaded worldview.  You see, everyone is supposed to wake up and go to the cubicle farm at 8am and put in more hours than they want, spend little to no time with the people you care about, and leverage your soul for a paycheck in the hopes that you can enjoy a retirement that for some will never come.   The Navy wants to enforce this outmoded way, because that’s the only way they know.  We know there is another way.  We also know that reasoning with The Navy does no good, because while they may be jaded, they are also resolved.    We must also display a resolve, but ours must be a quiet one.    Like our ancestors, we should strive to avoid any Naval entanglements.

Our Declaration

And so, with joy in our hearts and malice towards none, we declare ourselves to be part of a new movement.  We are the Peaceful Pirates.  We reject the broken world that we grew up in, and we will go forward from this moment changing our own worlds for the better.

We understand the broken contracts that The Crown has laid before us, while still believing that we should accept them as the only way.  The days of the golden watch for 40 years of service are over.  We know that many of us work several jobs over the course of a lifetime, some of us work two or three jobs at the same time in an effort to get ahead, but because of the broken contract between The Crown and the subjects, they fall farther behind.  There is no more promise of retirement before death, in fact, we live in a world where retirement may no longer be an option for most people.  They will work until the day they die, having never known the adventure of the sea.   Because of this, WE DECLARE THAT JOB SECURITY IS AN ILLUSION.

We understand that there is a basic inequality in the world between class, race, gender, religion, and sexual orientation.  We understand that all humans are created equal, and that they should be afforded equal human rights.  We see a world where this is clearly not the case.  Women still do not make as much as men.  We see that those at the top of the power structure continue to redistribute the planet’s wealth so that they enrich themselves at the expense of the poorest among us.  We see parts of this world where people are still murdered because of their religion or lack of it.  We still see a world where those of a different skin color or sexual orientation are treated as second class citizens, where people believe that it is ok to have a section of society that has most of the rights that the rest of us have.  We know the sea treats everyone equally whether they like it or not.   Well also know that a world where everyone is treated equally will never happen if we keep waiting for The Crown to do it.  Because of this, WE DECLARE THAT WE WILL NO LONGER WAIT FOR THEM.

Everywhere we turn in our modern society we are bombarded with more information than we could ever process.  However, every single piece of information doesn’t go through any kind of triage, and most of it carries the same level of urgency.  Kim Kardashian’s baby has the same urgent level of breaking news as the next mass shooting.  The volume level of all input creates a cacophony that no one can cut through.  Our mainstream media screams at us, and our news and commentators scream at each other, throwing too much heat and not enough light on anything.  Our news, media, and government appear to be consolidating amidst the noise, and it is all run in a 24 hour cycle as we wait for the next catastrophe that threatens us all.  There appears to be a new catastrophe every day, and that is by design.  When we are not being shown our world in crisis, we are shown an endless parade of clowns who have no real value, other than to live vicariously through their questionable lives.  Because of this, WE DECLARE THAT WE WILL NOT AMUSE OURSELVES TO DEATH.

The Crown knows that a divided and distracted society is easier to control.  By keeping up on the edge of crisis, and keeping us distracted with regular pointless outrage, and mindless entertainment, they keep us docile.  When we are docile, we do as we're told.  We continue to toe the party line, we maintain the status quo, and the cycle repeats.  If the cycle repeats, what do we get in return?  The exact same results.   We deserve better for ourselves, our families, and our communities. We should no longer accept the status quo, and it is long past time to be courageous enough speak out in favor of a new way.  Because of this, WE DECLARE THAT WE WILL NO LONGER LIVE IN FEAR AND STAY IN LINE.

We live in a world now where we can reject the status quo, we do not have to live in the world of our parents and grandparents.  We do not have to live in the world that The Crown created.  We can design our life, we can design a business that will sustain ourselves and our families, and we can do this on our terms.  Instead of the mindnumbing work of the plant or the cubefarm, we can do work that is meaningful to us, and to our communities.  We can do something we love, and in doing so, it is not work.  It is our calling, our passion.  We can dedicate ourselves to our passion in pursuit of a better life, and we can live that life now, not on the Gold Watch Deferral Plan.  Because of this, WE DECLARE THAT WE WILL BE FREE AND JOYFUL, WITH MALICE TOWARDS NONE.

Freedom in our society means many different things to many different people, some of which have an agenda they would like to sell to us for a small fee.  Others would sell it to us through mortgage an crippling debt.  Others tell us that freedom can only be attained by agreeing with or voting for their interests, and still others attempt to convince us that we  will only attain the freedom we desire once we put a little work in helping them attain their idea of freedom first.   We reject this.  We will shed the crippling debt that has so many of us in indentured servitude to The Crown.  We will not shackle ourselves to a nebulous dream that leaves so many living a 30 year nightmare.  We will not tie ourslves to an education that we will spend the next 20 years paying off.  We will not allow others to co-opt our freedom by telling us that theirs is more important.  We will not listen to people that preach that the only way to our freedom is through them.  We will not adhere to any agenda than that of our own design.  We will educate ourselves, and we will learn to think critically and objectively before we act.  Because of this, WE DECLARE THAT WE ALONE ARE THE CAPTAINS OF OUR SHIPS.

We are surrounded on all sides by a world of planned obsolescence.  Products and goods are no longer built in the same manner they used to be, built to last years.  Instead of maintaining what we have, we have bought into the idea that it is better to just buy a new one. Technology is a large culprit here, as we are encouraged to buy the newest model, with the new specs, and the new design.  Never mind that the old model worked just fine.  We trade in our cars and our phones and our clothes based on an arbitrary product cycle.  Our landfills are full of the junk we relegated for no reason other than it was no longer new.  Our closets are full of clothes we no longer wear.  We spend and spend on things we don’t need, that when we bring home, we rarely ever use.  We live in a status symbol society that drains us of our resources, and helps in a small way to degrade our not only that same society, but also in environment.  Because of this, WE DECLARE WE WILL LIVE IN SIMPLICITY.

Quite a lot of us live without direction, without purpose.  Our lives are most often ‘on the go’.  We throw ourselves into our work, often working 60-70 hour weeks to get by, and have no downtime to decompress.  We have not learned how to work effectively, so we hop from task to task, often switching what we’re doing frequently, or working several things at the same time.  We have bought in to the lie of multitasking.  After work, we have not learned how to leave our jobs at work.  Not just the actual tasks—we often bring those home with us—but whatever unease we had at work often comes home with us.  We have forgotten what play is like.  Play, being essential to human condition, needs to be rediscovered.  Because of they, WE DECLARE THAT WE WILL LEAVE THE WORK AT THE WORKPLACE, AND PLAY AS OFTEN AS POSSIBLE.

We recognize that a new Age of Piracy is essential to changing the world we live in.  As such, we recognize the value in recruiting others to our cause by example.  By changing ourselves, we change our lives.  In changing our lives, we live as an example to follow.  When we live as an example for others to follow, others may be recruited to our cause.  When we successfully recruit others to our cause, we swell our ranks until The Crown must accept a changing of society.  We do this not through preaching or prosletyzing, but through quiet resolve and humility.   Because of this, WE DECLARE THAT WE WILL ENCOURAGE OTHERS TO JOIN US.

This is the way of the Peaceful Pirate.  A life of passion and ambition.  A life of purpose and resolve.  A life of quiet simplicity and compassion.

Now that we have declared ourselves, let us find the path.

Kris Roley

Virginia Beach, VA, 23453