We’re here to leave a legacy, to break unwanted barriers and to progress. Because free, conscious people are capable of achieving their own goals but also achieving extraordinary things within their societies and environments.
This thesis is not just theory. It is history.
For thousands of years, the human experience was full of all sorts of catastrophes and condemnations including death, disease, injustice and extreme poverty. Across the world, ruling classes controlled everyone else and used to put barriers that blocked progress in nearly all aspects of life. But then a series of events started to converge and led to what the world is at nowadays. Europe was a field where many events occurred and helped change societies and mentalities.
When Gutenberg invented the printing press in 1440, he gave access to information to his society, and greater opportunities for people not only to read and spread ideas but mainly to think for themselves and have their own opinions.
Latin was considered the language of the elites, and when William Tyndale translated the Bible from Latin to English, he succeeded in enabling people to discover and learn religion by themselves without being biased or oriented by external pressure and authorities. Tyndale was executed but he played a major role not only in the Reformation but also in freeing people from cultural and religious barriers.
On a scientific level, engaged scientists like Newton and Descartes challenged their societies with scientific breakthroughs and phenomenal progress. Europe became a flourishing marketplace of ideas and innovations, on scientific and economic levels.
One of the aspects of freedom in Europe was the protection of private property rights. More people had more freedom, and for the first time in history, merchands artisans were respected and rewarded for their work. They constituted the social class of Bourgeoisie, which was once exploited and condemned by the then-widely-spread European mercantilism and feudalism.
During the 18th Century, Liberalism began to spread to other countries, including America.
Since the 1800s, America has known the Great Enrichment. Generally speaking, the standards of living of Americans has risen and reached the highest peak of human progress – this clearly shows what happens when barriers and prejudices are removed. Ideas can flourish and people can innovate endlessly.
Sadly, not all people in the world have gained real, proper freedom. The promise of a happy and equal life was not fully respected and many communities, as well as social classes, did not know the meaning of real freedom: African Americans and Native Americans were given no rights. Women and emigrants were only given partial rights.
Women’s rights are human rights. Civil rights are human rights. Education is a human right. Security is a human right.
What we face is not comparable to what historical scientists, politicians, economists, and reformers faced before. Their stories are the proof that dedication and courage are what it takes to change societies. In a world fully immersed in technology and more connected than ever, education, principled businesses, and real community engagement can surely lead to constant progress.
Throughout history, it’s taken courageous people who inspired their movements and organizations to make a change in their societies.
With shared principles and a common vision, the world can flourish. This is not utopian. This is optimistic.