Everyone Should Cultivate Manual Training

Does this mean we should neglect our intellect? Absolutely not. In fact, the opposite. We should strive to cultivate both mind and body to become the most perfect specimen we can become, daily. I came across this passage while reading a bit this morning from Amateur Joinery in the Home (1916) by George and Berthold … Continue reading Everyone Should Cultivate Manual Training

Woody Guthrie’s New Year Rulin’s

New Year's resolutions from Woody Guthrie's notebook 1943.  It was an interesting time; the world was at war, America was coming out of an economic depression coupled with huge crop failures and sleazy bank practices, and the Guthries had made their way West to California with record numbers of displaced migrants looking for a better … Continue reading Woody Guthrie’s New Year Rulin’s

Science and Self-Correction

"One of the reasons for its success is is that science has a built-in, error correcting machinery at its very heart. Some may consider this an overbroad characterization, but to me every time we exercise self-criticism, every time we test against the outside world, we are doing science. When we are self-indulgent and uncritical, when … Continue reading Science and Self-Correction

Wisdom of Dan Beard

On Loneliness "When you feel you are sleeping on the breast of your mother, the earth, while your father, the sky, with his millions of eyes is watching over you, and that you are surrounded by your brother, the plants, the wilderness is no longer lonesome even to the solitary traveler." ~Dan Beard

Your Rights vs. Doing the Right Thing

To have a right to do a thing is not at all the same as to be right in doing it. G.K. Chesterton I've had an interest in Chesterton for quite a few years now and have really enjoyed reading his philosophy.  I'm no expert, but know that I find myself in congruence with many … Continue reading Your Rights vs. Doing the Right Thing

Thoughts on Labor – 1854

"The aim of the laborer should be, not to get his living, to get "a good job," but to perform well a certain work; and, even in a pecuniary sense, it would be economy for a town to pay its laborers so well that they would not feel that they were working for low ends, … Continue reading Thoughts on Labor – 1854

Wilderness Time – Wise Words from John Muir

“Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity; and that mountain parks and reservations are useful not only as fountains of timber and irrigating rivers, but as fountains of life. Awakening from the stupefying effects of the vice of … Continue reading Wilderness Time – Wise Words from John Muir

Dream On and March to the Beat of Your Own Drummer

"If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away." Henry David Thoreau, Walden. Take some advice from an unlikely hero, Don Quixote.  Do your own thing... Have an adventure, go live … Continue reading Dream On and March to the Beat of Your Own Drummer

Real Comforts

"Most of the luxuries and many of the so-called comforts of life are not only not indispensable, but positive hindrances to the elevation of mankind." Henry David Thoreau, Walden. Heavy words when you think about them. I like nice stuff.  I buy good clothes, decent shoes, and drive a new(ish) vehicle.  We all like new, … Continue reading Real Comforts

Jobs, Work, and Taking Control of Possessions (an updated ramble)

"A man is rich in proportion to the number of things which he can afford to let alone." Henry David Thoreau, Walden. Possessions don't make us happy!  Situations do. Possessions, desire, covetousness, craving, yearning, lust; these forces drive humanity. Somehow each generation of moral thinkers know these things are ultimately wrong and look for something … Continue reading Jobs, Work, and Taking Control of Possessions (an updated ramble)

Seven Years at a Time…

An old look at the life of man - Seven years to childhood's sport and play, Seven years in school from day to day, Seven years at Trade or College life, Seven years to find a Virtuous Wife. Seven years to pleasure's follies given, Seven years to labour hardly driven, Seven years for some a … Continue reading Seven Years at a Time…

Baden-Powell’s Last Message to Scouts

Most people that know me are aware that I owe much of my foundation and success in life to a very positive experience in the Boy Scouts of America.  There were many lame troops and leaders not worth their salt but I, and several of my closest friends, were fortunate in finding ourselves thrown together … Continue reading Baden-Powell’s Last Message to Scouts

Rules of Conduct – From the Pen of Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson wrote reams of good advice, important political philosophy, the Declaration of Independence, and many other things (which is why we know so much about him).  To some of his younger relations he sent his favorite "Rules of Conduct" to help the people he cared for better and more insightful humans.  These thoughts evolved … Continue reading Rules of Conduct – From the Pen of Thomas Jefferson

Escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane…

This thought feels more pertinent than ever right now.    Instead of just finding faults in others,  I think it wise to examine who else stands on the side you are on.  Are these the people you want to be? The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to … Continue reading Escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane…

Creating Every Day

Make something with your hands every day, some wisdom from Mahatma Gandhi.  It has been my goal for a long time now to follow this creed and it makes me happy nearly every day; even if it is something small, it is a small victory. "Its a tragedy of the first magnitude that millions of … Continue reading Creating Every Day

Henry David Thoreau, “Woods Burner”

Here's an interesting article about Thoreau's early career and the incident that may have been a catalyst for his move out of town into the woods nearby.  As it happened a year before the Walden experiment, it may have had some bearing on the idea. From the Boston Globe: On April 30, 1844, Thoreau started … Continue reading Henry David Thoreau, “Woods Burner”

Hiking, Backpacking, or Just Enjoy the Walk

"Hiking - I don’t like either the word or the thing. People ought to saunter in the mountains - not hike! Do you know the origin of that word ‘saunter?’ It’s a beautiful word. Away back in the Middle Ages people used to go on pilgrimages to the Holy Land, and when people in the … Continue reading Hiking, Backpacking, or Just Enjoy the Walk

A Story of an Old Time Sheepherder

It was a lonely life on the range.  “Even if a herder does not particularly care for reading, he will be driven to it in self-defense."  I wanted to re-share a good story about sheepherding life.  Gilfillan was a shepherd for 20 years and went on to become a well-known humorist, author, and speaker. "Archie … Continue reading A Story of an Old Time Sheepherder

Bread – Some Thoughts from Cobbett

Every woman, high or low, ought to know how to make bread. If she do not, she is unworthy of trust and confidence; and, indeed, a mere burden upon the community.  -William Cobbett Today this should probably read "Every homemaker" instead of "Every woman" but, as Cobbett composed this treatise in 1821, he assumed that the … Continue reading Bread – Some Thoughts from Cobbett

No Apology Necessary

As we head into the weekend, I wanted to share a short essay.  This may be a lengthy read by internet standards but I would like to suggest that you pour yourself your favorite beverage or if you are at work then skive off a bit and take in the wisdom of Robert Louis Stevenson. … Continue reading No Apology Necessary

We NEED Community – by Damien Patrick

This is a topic I have often thought about.  I come from a family that was in no way “close.”  I had kind and caring grandparents who filled in when others wouldn’t but the expectation I was given at home was to get out, move away, do your own thing.  That’s all fine as a product of the “Baby-Boomer” generation.  With my own grown child, I cannot believe we live so far apart. Thousands of miles actually.  I don’t think this is because of a poor relationship, but is just a factor of the twenty-first century.

Here are some thoughts from the “Kindness Blog” today.

Can I ask you some questions?

Why, when we grow up, do we move out from our family home and then go and buy or rent a house in a street full of complete strangers, sometimes many miles from our loved ones? When did this practice start, why and to what benefit?

As a teenager, I too grew up, moved out and lived away from my family. Because it was the done thing. The thing everyone else did. I never questioned it and even now, many years later, I still live away from family. But why?

I have elderly neighbours where I live now. One in particular, in his eighties, has a host of medical conditions yet, despite his many healthy challenges, he has a cheery, welcoming disposition and a great sense of humour. From speaking with him many times, I understand that his children and grandchildren do not ‘have the time’ to visit him all that often. Perhaps once every few months for an hour or so they pop in to see him. This despite them living fifteen minutes away in a car. I’m not judging here, just making an observation. They don’t have the time? Really? My neighbour is lonely and has told me that, of all the things he suffers from, isolation and loneliness is his greatest pain. If he hasn’t hurt his children in the past, damaging their relationship, and if his children love him, why is this situation occurring? Why don’t they come and see him more regularly? Will he die alone, lonely and lost, with his body found days after his passing?

Why don’t we live with our families or at least close to them?

Maybe in the same street for example? I appreciate that for some of us we couldn’t think of anything worse but if you truly love your mum, dad, brother, sister, cousin, granddaughter….wouldn’t it make sense to be as close to them as possible?

I imagine a family living side by side, each with their own separate house in the same street. Practically, this might not be possible because of existing house owners, but I can dream, right? The children would be watched over by many loving eyes, the elderly would be taken of and family could share time together. There would be support, face-to-face time, conversation, love, laughter and there would be real community. Not to say an increased sense of safety and connection. Blood with blood, loving one another, protecting each other.

Instead of that I see people who are away from their families. People that don’t even speak to their neighbours. People who avoid eye contact. People that go to work in jobs they often don’t like, travelling distance every day with a sad face to earn money for rent on a flat which they spend their evenings in sat lonely and lost. How sad.

Why? What’s gone wrong? I’m asking.


Loneliness is a killer

In August 2017 the American Psychological Association presented research based on two meta-analyses. The first examined 148 studies involving 300,000 participants and found that increased social connectedness was linked to a whopping 50 percent lower risk of premature death. The other study, examining 3.4 million people across 70 different studies, revealed that social isolation, loneliness, or living alone has as significant or equal an effect on premature mortality as obesity and other major risk factors. It is time to take our own loneliness – and that of those around us – seriously.

Kindness Blog

Can I ask you some questions?

Why, when we grow up, do we move out from our family home and then go and buy or rent a house in a street full of complete strangers, sometimes many miles from our loved ones? When did this practice start, why and to what benefit?

 As a teenager, I too grew up, moved out and lived away from my family. Because it was the done thing. The thing everyone else did. I never questioned it and even now, many years later, I still live away from family. But why?

 I have elderly neighbours where I live now. One in particular, in his eighties, has a host of medical conditions yet, despite his many healthy challenges, he has a cheery, welcoming disposition and a great sense of humour. From speaking with him many times, I understand that his children and grandchildren do…

View original post 432 more words

Thoughts About Minimalism and Survival

Learning a thing or two from the past...Part 1, 21st century Westerners are not the first to minimalize. There's a lot of recent talk about Minimalism as a social movement and this fits well with my personal philosophy and my interests in preindustrial technology and survival.  Not long ago, minimalism was mostly associated with artists, … Continue reading Thoughts About Minimalism and Survival

Three Men in a Boat (a book of subtle humor and deep philosophy)

“Let your boat of life be light, packed with only what you need—a homely home and simple pleasures, one or two friends, worth the name, someone to love and someone to love you, a cat, a dog, and a pipe or two, enough to eat and enough to wear, and a little more than enough … Continue reading Three Men in a Boat (a book of subtle humor and deep philosophy)