Actions Matter More Than Identity

Instead of worrying about who someone is, it seems smarter to focus on what they do. Anything other than their actions is none of your business and can’t harm you, and not many of their actions are your business, either.

The color of someone’s skin isn’t my concern, nor is the language they speak. Who you love is between you and those you love, and your religious beliefs don’t involve me.

I’m not worried about where someone was born or what government permission slips they may lack.

What people do is all that can matter.

I would hope people don’t harbor beliefs that they use to justify violence, including the violence of laws, against those who aren’t harming anyone else. Yet, unless they take action, not even those twisted beliefs can hurt anyone.

If you aren’t creating a victim through your actions — and being offended isn’t being victimized — those who oppose you are wrong.

What you wear, what you carry, what you ingest, what you do in your own home — none of those things could possibly be any of my business unless it harms others or makes a credible threat to do so.

If you aren’t complying with zoning laws, property codes, licensing schemes, or other illegitimate laws, I’m on your side.

Why would I care if you break laws as long as there is no individual victim; not an imaginary victim like “society” or the state? And, although I don’t want you to harm yourself and would do what I can to help, no one has the right to violently intervene to stop you.

Those who worry about who someone is rather than what they do often complain about government until they can use it against someone they don’t like, especially if they notice their target ignoring an illegitimate law. Suddenly, they are in favor of government violence. If they weren’t against the person, they wouldn’t care about the law. Hypocrisy is ugly.

But what if you fervently believe you need to meddle in someone else’s life? Do I care why you do the wrong thing? No. I only care that you act to violate someone’s life, liberty, or property. Your excuses don’t matter.

Whoever you are is fine with me. Anything you do is OK with me as long as you aren’t harming someone, even if I don’t understand it. It’s a waste of time to fret over shallow things that can’t possibly matter. You be you; that’s good enough.

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Kent McManigal

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