“But the great gift we get from the book is mindset: you have the ability to live freely, as you wish, right here and right now —at least to a much greater extent than you think. What we should do, Harry says, is improve our own lives first and foremost. That is the key to everything. When we worry too much about government and politics, we waste our energy and fall into a glass half-empty mentality.
Harry called this the “Utopia Trap”: a mistaken belief that we have some right to live in a world of our liking, which is preposterous on its face. Other people have their own opinions, goals, and beliefs, which may be completely different than ours. The goal is not to change other people, but rather to live in harmony with our own beliefs and values.”
Quoting from the book, Harry challenges the wisdom of busy-bodyness:
If you’re not free now, it isn’t because you haven’t done enough to change the world. Quite the contrary, it may be that you’ve been doing too much to try to change the world. The effort you’ve expended in that direction could have been used to provide freedom for yourself …
You don’t have to reconstruct the social order; you don’t have to overpower the villains; you don’t have to re-educate the world; you don’t need a miracle. You can have your freedom back any time you choose to take it.
Hyperbole? Maybe. Nobody doubts that the state can come along and ruin your day. But his point remains: everything begins and ends with you, and mindset has far more to do with how freely you live than government or society.