What Can We Do?

Lao Tzu“Be careful what you water your dreams with. Water them with worry and fear and you will produce weeds that choke the life from your dream. Water them with optimism and solutions and you will cultivate success. Always be on the lookout for ways to turn a problem into an opportunity for success. Always be on the lookout for ways to nurture your dream.”

Lao Tzu

If you are a curious individual looking to learn; to better understand the flow of life, and are not very familiar with the Chinese philosophy of Taoism, I would encourage you to spend a little time reading Lao Tzu’s work on the Tao Te Ching. I believe it’s important to search for and value different perspectives on the way life moves along. Exposure to different explanations allows us to build-up our own understanding; allows us to break-down the contradictions which riddle our lives.

Walden

Henry David Thoreau“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms.”

– Henry David Thoreau, Walden: Or, Life in the Woods

This quote, and the book itself, was a huge influence on me – even before I knew of its existence. I was traveling down a similar thought pattern as Henry was; wanting a different way of life – an easier, more thoughtful way of life. Thankfully, while listening to a interview with John Taylor Gatto, he mentioned this book and I fell in love.

It’s quite funny; others laugh because they don’t understand when I say I wouldn’t mind living without electricity, indoor plumbing, and all the other simple pleasures we take for granted on a daily basis. “That has to be the strangest thing I have heard coming from a tech guy before,” is the typical response I get.

Hopefully, someday, I can acquire a piece of land and build a small shelter and experience the simple life just as Thoreau did. If anything, it would be a nice little summer get-a-way.

This is a good follow-up to my last post about Being Thankful. This would be one of those situations where this way-of-life changes one’s perspective; building an appreciation for the things our ancestors couldn’t fathom having come easy… such as a “clean” glass of water right from within the comforts of your home. In the future, I will talk about my experience WWOOFing, and how that was the catalysis which changed my life… at least, it was the final

Andrew Jackson and the Bank

Andrew Jackson“Gentlemen! I too have been a close observer of the doings of the Bank of the United States. I have had men watching you for a long time, and am convinced that you have used the funds of the bank to speculate in the breadstuffs of the country. When you won, you divided the profits amongst you, and when you lost, you charged it to the bank. You tell me that if I take the deposits from the bank and annul its charter I shall ruin ten thousand families. That may be true, gentlemen, but that is your sin! Should I let you go on, you will ruin fifty thousand families, and that would be my sin! You are a den of vipers and thieves. I have determined to rout you out, and by the Eternal God, [*brings his fist down to the table*] I will rout you out!

From the original minutes of the Philadelphia committee of citizens sent to meet with President Jackson (February 1834), according to Andrew Jackson and the Bank of the United States (1928) by Stan V. Henkels – online PDF