22. Can Individuals Change the World?

Over the last few months, we’ve seen protests, and even riots, break out all across our country. While everyone might not agree on what kind of change we want to see in the world, one thing that is for sure, people seem to understand that there are some things, like injustice, inequality, and an out-of-control government, that need to change. But as individuals, how can we change the world?

 

This is the transcript of our conversation:

 

Brittany: Hi Connor.

Connor: Hey, Brittany.

Brittany: So the world might seem like a bit of a scary place right now. I think you can agree with that, right?

Connor: Every day’s Different,

Brittany: Right? No murder hornets yet,

Connor: I’m a beekeeper. So when I saw the, Oh, that’s right. When I saw the murder, hornets were coming. I was sad for my bees

Brittany: I would be sad for your bees too. Well, we’ve seen a lot of civil unrest, right? Especially if you watch the news. We’ve seen protests turn to the right. Something that’s been very scary, I know, for me to watch. Yeah. but a lot of us are seeing these, and we’re, noticing that there is a reason for the world to change, right? Maybe we don’t agree with everything that protestors are doing or why they’re doing it or not. We do agree right there, but you know what they’re doing. But we can agree that there’s something wrong, that something needs to be changed. So I thought maybe we could talk about how people actually change the world, because there’s not one right answer for this, right? There are a lot of different things we can do. So let’s talk about it. How can we change the world?

Connor: So Brittany, you and I were both involved in the presidential campaign of Ron Paul. Yes. And one of the things I found really interesting was when he was running for president, he was a man, is a man who deeply believes in liberty. And he got so many people, especially young people, really excited about Liberty, right? Those were fun times for us to, think Back on

Brittany: Best Times

Connor: And towards the end of his campaign, as things were winding down, he would get asked a question a lot, even during his campaign, but especially towards the end. Cuz during his campaign, everyone was like working on the campaign and posting online, telling people to Google Ron Paul, right? All of these things. But as the campaigns started to wind down, he would get asked over and over again by people, Hey, what should I do? How should I get involved? You know, what’s next? What should I work on? And as he and I have talked in the years since in different interviews and settings, he talks about this often that he is like the time he would tell people, I don’t know, right? I don’t know what you’re gonna do. I don’t know what your path is, what your skill set is, or what your opportunities will be. Everyone is different. We talked about spontaneous order on a past episode, right? Like, not everyone necessarily needs to try and change the world in the same way. And so one man, Ron Paul isn’t in a position to tell everyone you know how to do things and where to go and what to work on. And so I really like that, all of us have unique skill sets. He told me one time that I was talking with him about this, and he’s like, Connor, had you asked me that as well? And had I come up with an idea, I never would’ve imagined starting a think tank. I never would’ve imagined doing children’s books. And yet, you know, you went off and did those things. And so each of us has our own different capacities. You are a phenomenal writer. Britney, probably back 10 years ago, you probably weren’t a very good writer, right?

Brittany: I had to practice at it. Yeah. But it was actually, and it might be too scary for your listeners to watch her at this age, but V for Vendetta was a movie I loved. And there’s a line that says words will always retain their value. And words have basically the power to change the world because they give people meaning. And that is what made me wanna become a writer.

Connor: So talk a little bit more about that since we’re talking about changing the world. How can words change the world?

Brittany: So communication is important, and it goes both ways. It does not only the written word, which I do but also the spoken word as a teacher. I was kind of a writer in my own way cuz I would write lesson plans, right? And I would write them in a way where I could tailor them or I would cater them to my audience. So if I’m talking to a group of maybe preschoolers, I’m gonna talk to them differently than I’m talking to a group of adults, right? So you have to know your audience and you have to know what they can do. We talk about special talents like you just said. The same thing for a writer, I have to know what my audience, you know, special skill is. I have to know what they already know or what maybe they don’t know so that I can communicate these ideas. Analogies are something like telling things through or more like a parable, telling things through a story. So in another episode, we talked about whistle-blowing and speaking up if you see something going wrong. And we talked about if you were to see bullies on the playground. Something I love doing with my words is creating those situations saying, Okay, maybe you don’t know exactly this complex thing I’m gonna teach you about, but let me tell you about something you do know. Let me start where you are and tell you a story about bullies on a playground, or something like that. So I think it’s really important because writing the written word, or even speaking to people kind of gives them the information they need to then sit there and go, Okay, something’s wrong. This is making a lot of sense to me. That story resonated with me. I’ve seen that before. I’ve heard that before. And then they go home and they’re thinking about it and then they’re thinking, How can I take this and change the world with my special talents?

Connor: I love that. And you know, one of the funniest things for me in doing the telephones books in the written word and sharing these ideas and kind of a persuasive and interesting way one of the funniest things for me is seeing them get translated into other languages. That’s cool. And getting photos on Facebook and Instagram of kids around the world. You know, different ethnic backgrounds, different languages, totally different kinds of, you know, life circumstances, reading The Tuttle Twins books and learning about these powerful ideas that have changed the world in the past, right? That people have used to, you know, create America, the freest country at one time, perhaps in the world. And how amazing that is to see kids in their own language. So not only does the written word have power, but yeah, you can translate it into other languages. And, So it’s not just the words, but it’s the ideas that they convey, right? The ideas that the words are teaching about. Cause than those ideas can be translated into different words in a different languages. But these ideas are so powerful. Talk to me, Brittany, about the power of ideas. When, did you really come to believe in freedom and free markets? And why were those ideas so exciting or moving for you?

Brittany: It’s funny. I think I always believed in them, but I didn’t know how to put them into words. I didn’t know how to pinpoint them until Ron Paul came along. And I think Ron Paul along for the movie also along in the movie V for Vendetta did highlight the idea that ideas are bulletproof. And I love that because let’s say someday, God forbid it’ll happen when Ron Paul passes from this earth, that does not mean liberty dies with him. Right? That doesn’t mean that because our speaker is gone, that that is no longer, That doesn’t mean when I die someday, everything I wrote no longer matters. Because we’re putting those ideas out there and you cannot destroy an idea. And that to me, every time I say that I get chills. You know, ideas are bulletproof is such a whew, you know, because there’s nothing you can do, there’s nothing the enemy can do to get rid of that. It’s there once it’s out there. It’s There.

Connor:

Now, as you pointed out earlier in the episode, there’s a lot of civil unrest right now. There are a lot of protests. Yes. There are a lot of angry people. There are a lot of people who see problems in the world. Maybe it’s in police or racial issues or government and so forth. And, they want to change. They want something different. And what I find is the power of ideas. There’s a really interesting story in American history where John Adams was, he wasn’t too much of a fan of the French, the French Revolution was happening at the time and there was a lot of chaos. There was a lot of just burning down buildings and tearing down the government. And so he wrote a letter to his wife Abigail, and in it he said, You know, there are so many people who are, tearing things down, but there are so few who know how to build up in its stead. And that’s not an exact quote, but that’s the point he was making to his wife. That it’s very easy to tear others down. It’s very easy to criticize and point out problems. What we have to get good at, what we have to be able to do is know how to build up good things. It’s not enough to say no to something. We need to propose, you know, what to say yes to. We’ll keep talking about Ron Paul. I remember when he was in Congress, he would often get called doctor No. Right? He was an anti-war anti-attack. And he would always say, I’m not anti-war, I’m pro-peace. Yeah. I’m not just saying don’t do wars. I’m saying, Hey, we should be peaceful and treat other people the way we wanna be treated. And so it’s not that we should just be saying no to things when we see problems in the world. Cuz again, we’re talking about how we change the world. We have to know what to say yes to. We need to know what solutions are. And another thought, Brittany, that comes to mind, and I’ve thought about this a lot over the years because I used to be this way before I started Robertus Institute or The Tuttle Twins books or anything. I was kind of a keyboard warrior. And what I mean by that is

Brittany: Activist, I think is another word they Call

Connor: Slacktavist. Right? Rather than an activist, you’re a slacker. You’re kind of taking the lazy way and what does it mean? It means people who are on like Facebook and social media just arguing and telling other people they’re wrong. And, you’re doing it cuz you wanna look like you’re a know-it-all. And you’re right. And I was guilty of that as I was starting to learn a lot and learn. A lot of

Brittany: You wanted to share it, but you almost did it. Like, cuz I did the same thing. You almost get kind of angry about it cuz you’re so fired up

Connor: Right? Why isn’t everyone believing the way I do? Right. And you’re all wrong. And I’m gonna tell you why. And you quickly realized how ineffective that is. It feels good. It feels, you know, good to kind of get that outta your system. But here’s the analogy that comes to my mind, Brittany. And that is, you know, those people are letting off steam, right? That’s kind of another term for it. They’re just at their computer or they’re even at a protest or a rally holding up a sign. They’re kind of letting off steam. That’s a very common phrase. Well, steam, if you think about it, when you capture steam when you kind of harness it and channel it, you can apply that energy and you can move a locomotive. You can move a whole big fat heavy train Yeah. With steam. And so that’s in my mind when I started to shift in my life and I’m like, you know what? I wanna change the world, but it’s not enough to just vent and criticize And let off steam. I need to apply my energy to something that can actually be forward-moving. So let’s maybe spend a few minutes talking about that. Brit, when we talk about changing the world, Yes, there are powers in ideas in ideas and powers in words. But we also need to maybe do a little bit more activism or, in the marketplace, right? We’ve talked about like Elon Musk and others, right? Steve Jobs has probably done more to change the world. Why? Well think about those protests and a lot of them happen for the kids and the adults listening who saw some of those videos of, you know, George Floyd and the Brianna Taylor issue and so many others. People were recording with their cell phones.

Brittany: Yeah They had it in their pocket. Yeah.

Connor: And yeah, everyone is like a personal journalist And photographer who can whip out their phone and, record high-quality video. What would the world be like? What, you know, we wouldn’t know about these injustices. There wouldn’t be protests about these things cuz we just wouldn’t know. So credit to Steve Jobs and others like him who have really innovated in the marketplace and helped change the world where we now have access to those products. So yeah, the free market can do it. What’s maybe like for those who want to get more involved or change the world, what are other ways that people can, you know, make a difference?

Brittany: This is an idea. People a lot of times, especially Libertarians, sometimes we get mad about people who wanna change the, you know, things within the law by working within government. But having done things on all sides have been an activist, having been somebody who went to protest, and having been a journalist, I think there is a lot of merit to getting things done within the system. I’m a huge fan of Senator Mike Lee from Utah and he’s done a lot of good. I think some is Rand Paul. So as a Ron Paul, when he was in the house getting stuff or even stopping things from getting past in the house and Senate. So I think working within government, whatever that, whatever that may be, maybe you’ll be a writer, you know, Florida Congressman, maybe you’ll run for Congress, maybe it’ll state Congress. But I think it’s really important that we kind of have all our bases covered. And so to change the world, we do need good people in politics who are willing to stand up for what is wrong and say no. Or maybe like Ron Paul, you wanna be the only people to vote against war. You know, to stand up and say, No, I’m not gonna do this. Or maybe they’re the only people to support an audit, the Fed Bill, or an end to the Fed Bill. So we do need people working within government.

Connor:

There’s a story I’ve heard before about, you know, if you’re, trying to like lift a big piano for example, or, you’re moving and you’re lifting like a heavy, you know, set of boxes or something, you need multiple people. And if someone isn’t pulling their weight, if they’re not doing their job and holding it, you know, that piano to use that example is gonna start to tilt and fall and, you know, break. And so the importance of all of us, like you just said, Brittany, we need journalists, we need.

Brittany:

Oh yeah, that was gonna be my next journalist. Yeah.

Connor:

Yeah. We need business people and we need freedom fighters and activists and politicians and others. Like we, need people in every area of society. Right. Because we all need to kind of stand and lift, you know, where we can and, and lift that big piano. We all need to kind of do our part cuz together we’re only gonna, I think, preserve our, liberties if we’re all kind of fulfilling those roles. And then, I think the exciting challenge, especially for a lot of our listeners, Brittany, is for younger people, it’s figuring out what your path is. Yep. So maybe talk a little bit and then I will as well. How did you find your path? You kind of bounced around, We’ve talked before about used to be a teacher. Yeah. So, what was that experience like for you to kind of eventually find your way to, land where you have now?

Brittany: Before I was a teacher, I used to write blogs. I got really into the tea party when that was a thing. There was a tea party movement, kind of anti-taxation or, you know, we were being taxed too much. And I started writing things and I was a constitutional study minor at the time. So I was in college and I was really wanting to just share my thoughts. So I started just writing what I thought to try to figure out what I believed. It wasn’t even that I was saying this is what I believe. It was more this is going on in the world, how do I feel about it?

Connor: Yeah.

Brittany: And as I was writing, I realized I was not only pretty good at it, but that’s what really fueled me. It made me really happy. I have other friends that, for them it’s music, right? They write songs about liberty or songs about, I have a friend who writes songs about Bitcoin, which we’ll talk about in another episode. So there are all these weird things. Even art, you could be drawing art maybe about liberty, but for me, it was the written word for me. It was, wow, I can communicate better when I can type it out and when I can kind of figure out how I feel as I’m writing. So that’s how I figured out that was my calling. And I actually got hired as a teacher because of an essay I wrote. So it was, again, it was writing. That’s how they found me. So. Cool.

Connor: That’s great. I, think the most important thing that I can think of to maybe tell young people is the importance of just being patient with yourself. Yeah. Like I, went to school and college. I was a web developer. I built websites for like random companies and that’s kinda what I did. But on the side, I was really passionate about freedom. I was learning a lot, and reading a lot. I was blogging at the time. And just like you, I was writing like, Yeah, here are ideas. What do I think about them? And I’m starting to learn about them. And it wasn’t until years later that I started to be like, you know, I enjoy this way more, but I hardly have any time. Cause I’ve got my job. Is there a way that I can figure out how to get paid to do this? Right? That I can just spend all my time working on this. And so I, wouldn’t have asked that question had I not started to run into the problem of having a normal job and then having this passion on the side. So that led to the question which I then figured out a solution for, and I started a think tank. And, you know, then it was like, Hey, like I, want to teach more people about these things and I wanna teach my kids about ’em. And, that problem or that question led to The Tuttle Twins. And so as I’ve seen in my own life, I think it’s that way with most of us is our path. We kind of like stumble and, you know, bump into something and then we move and then we move and then we move. And, I think of it as you know, we, just have to be patient because, in my life, I’ve taken a totally different course correction

Brittany: Yeah.

Connor: And finally found where I’m, my talents are best applied where I’m most excited to make a difference where I feel like I’m changing the world. And so sometimes you just kind of have to bump around until you figure out, is this the right organization? Is this the right job? Is this the right thing to study? Right. What should I be doing? And so it’s an exciting adventure, I think, to figure out what your life looks like for the adults listening. You know, I think it’s never too late to, you know, take up a new hobby or get involved or go to your city council or, you know, start a podcast. Right. Or whatever you want to do to make a difference even in your small community. Right. Even if you feel inadequateBrittany, you and I, I think can agree that anyone can learn these things and you don’t have to be an expert or have any kind of special college degree or anything like that. Right.

Brittany: Just Kind of a yearning to learn more. I think. And I think I called it a treasure hunt once in one of our earlier episodes, that you just go on a hunt to learn things. And one thing I wanted to add it on, add on to what you said is if you wanna see government in action, go to a local zoning meeting, go to a city council meeting with me. Yeah. That’s where that’s like where the action is. And that’s where you can actually make a huge difference because that’s where these laws are getting changed at the local level. So it’s, doesn’t have to be congress in DC Right? You can be doing that in your own neighborhood right now.

Connor: I think that’s exactly right. It’s one thing to change the world. It’s another thing to, you know, change your local community, changes your neighborhood because those things add up. And, what is often gonna happen is as you’re working on changing something within your sphere of influence, maybe it’s in your HOA, maybe it’s in your city council, you’re gonna learn things along the way. Right. How to improve or what you’re good at or what you could do better

Brittany: Or what you’re bad at too. Maybe what not to do.

Connor: True True. Absolutely. You’re gonna learn from mistakes. You’re gonna see how other people behave or what they did. So you’re gonna observe and learn a lot. You’re also gonna network. You’re gonna meet people Yeah. Who is going to introduce you to new ideas or new opportunities? So much of my success, I’m sure yours as well, Brittany, comes from just knowing people Absolutely. Who can help me along the way? Yep. And I can help other people along the way. And so it’s really important to just get out there, meet people, and make a name for yourself. Just start super small, but you’re gonna get better over time. And you know, at the end of the day, you’re gonna end up doing big things. But it’s those small things that kind of add up to the big things. So, Brittany, I’ll give you the final thought.

Brittany: Yeah. The only thing I would add is to turn what you love doing into something that can help change the world. Whether that’s entrepreneurship, whether that’s writing, whether that’s music. Take what you love and find out how you can use that to change the world.

Connor: I love it. Well, tuttletwins.com/podcast is where you can find the show notes, and resources, make sure you subscribe, and hey, share this with a friend on social media because if we’re gonna change the world, we need all the help we can get. Yep. Brittany, thanks for talking.

Brittany: Talk to you next time.

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