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By Stephen Browne
Stephen Browne
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By Stephen W. Browne
Aug. 1, 2014 11:30 a.m.

ďHe either fears his fate too much, or his deserts are small, who dares not put it to the touch, to win or lose it all.Ē
- James Graham, Earl of Montrose
Recently I made one of those decisions.
Yes, one of those decisions. One that feels so right, except for the odd times when something shouts in your ear, ďAre you blankety-blank crazy?Ē
A few things happened first. One was a friend died. Not an extremely close friend, but a dear lady who graciously took care of my children when I was a new single parent and trying to get our lives together.
She did it for a ridiculously low price while I worked during that first summer. Loved my kids and they loved her.
She had just seen her first married daughter present her with her first grandchild. Though she wasnít very old, she died of congestive heart failure.
This reminded me that all flesh is grass, and we do not in fact have enough time to accomplish everything we want to.
While reflecting on this I realized something that had been bothering me about an old friend Iíve knownÖ a very long time.
My friend, to put it mildly, is a pill.
Everything and anything in the news is evidence of what a thoroughly awful country we live in, how everything in the world is our fault and always has been.
He calls himself a libertarian, but in fact heís a right-wing progressive. Since he believes we could achieve Utopia, anything less is not worth having.
His negativity is intensely irritating. My guess is heís unhappy with what heís accomplished in life and blaming it on the world.
I donít want to be like him. So Iím quitting my job and taking six months off to write a book Iíve been talking about for a decade.
Itís not totally half-baked. Iíve had a working outline for a while, and the main points have been written up and published in various places.
My job as I see it, it to reorganize it and write it up in a more readable form. Looking back, I see that my writing has improved over the past ten years.
I also see there has never been a better time to get it done.
The working title is, ďThe Progressive Mind: Reflections on the Suicide of a Civilization.Ē
The theme is that in America in particular, and Western Civilization in general, the most affluent and privileged classes absolutely loathe the civilization that made them arguably the most fortunate people in all of human history.
This sounds seriously crazy, but I believe I know why, and I believe I can explain it.
Iím giving myself six months to write it before I have to return to regular work. I have the resources to live on, and beyond.
My children wonít suffer because of Daddyís eccentric quest, quite the contrary. Iím going to set up a work schedule for the school year: take kids to school, write for three hours, exercise for health maintenance.
After school time and weekends are for my children, because thatís the other thing about being mortal.
Iíll also devote more attention to my neglected blog and continue to write columns and take the occasional freelance assignment.
Then we shall see if my ďbattle planĒ survives contact with the enemy: sloth, procrastination and self-doubt.
With the responsibility of two children I canít undertake adventures like I could when I was young, pack a bag and go.
But I can I hope, set them an example theyíll remember when Iím gone.

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