Ode to Boompa

Boompa has lived a sweet life.
He always found new interests.  He was a true lover of learning.  He had lots of songs memorized on the guitar.  He’d pick up new instruments all the time.  He was a cool dude.  So easy going, too.  He could make new friends like it was nothing.  Always laid back and laughing.
Then there was the farm.  9 years or more he had this place, it seemed just to show his grandson’s how to enjoy the outdoors.  He could have invested that money or bought himself a bigger house.  He had his car.  I grew up with a rich grandpa.  He used to spoil the shit out of us.  That’s how we felt.  In actuality, he was very smart about how he indulged.  We got a master’s course in finance at a very young age.  This is why I’ve never been in debt and do pretty much what I want.  Boompa showed me how.  He wasn’t just rich with money, he had a refined culture of his own.  He got into Pandora Radio when it came out and would play a station called Instrumental Folk.  His house, full of genuine conversation starters, would be submerged in this warm acoustic music.  It felt like spring in the woods in his living room.  He still has most of those articles.  The eductation from his mind, movies, and time at the cabin are probably my favorite lesons I’ve experienced so far.  He was the best Boompa you could dream up.
He tought us to sail.  Steve and I took that knowledge and ran with it.  Probably more than anything, he taught us to overcome the frustration of learning new things, like flipping the 4-wheeler 3 times in 30 minutes, and still getting back on it again.
Boompa had an endless sense of humor.  Even when he’s not laughting, he magnages to keep his composure, like when he nipped his leg with a chainsaw.  He’s about the most fearless guy I’ve ever met.
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end focus

Love what you do and you won’t work a day in your life.

Kids start hearing this as soon as they learn the concept of work.  The realistic options for what types of work are available are rarely lovable.  Furthermore, it is often perverted into the idea of working a job with characteristics similar to what you love to do.

If you reverse it then you’re not left hoping.  Start with what you love and build the rest of life around it.


 

In the life of most westerners, the threat of death comes at old age.  Our cultures do not take care of or revere the elderly and we are left to fend for ourselves.

A routine living of a first-worlder does not encounter predators, starvation, homicide, or disease.  Therefore it is the fear of death down the road that inspires our daily subconscious and plans for the future.

If on the other hand, one were to regularly experience the fear of death through adventurous activities, it would be the obstacle around the next corner that would be of most interest.  Rock climbing, motorcycle riding, swimming with sharks and paragliding are all potentially fatal.  Continuous focus of the present would be your best guarantee of survival.

If it’s true that death is what makes life meaningful, then frequent encounters with death would mean a life full of experienced understanding.

The focus of presence can also be related to livelihood and quality of life.

Working toward something is a common ingredient in the recipe for success.  If it is a true joy to work toward the same thing for a long time, then this is a great plan.  If, however, this is a miserable road to a hypothetical end scenario, then this is a messed up plan.  Forcing yourself to live a way that only pleases you a fraction of the time makes it more likely that you will later live that same fractional way.

Living life exactly the way you want to live let’s you practice and become better at living how you like.  If you see yourself working on hobbies and passions or exploring the world go and do those things.  Don’t put them off until some purchase or accomplishment allows you to.  Start on a small scale if you have to.

Make the things that make you happiest a priority.  In the end, what will you want to call your life?


 

I think life wants us to feel good about ourselves, whatever that means for us individually.

User Error

Cats are really present. Dogs live in the future. Always anticipating a treat, the door, some food, playing catch, etc.

That is, after they are trained.

This is a generalization.  Like people from a certain part of the world or the next town over or that look a certain way, it always comes down to a case-by-case basis.  I’ve had a couple of cool dogs, one in particular that was basically untrainable and also minded his own business.  I also know an extremely well-trained dog that sailed a couple thousand miles with us and also is as cool as the bottom of an iceberg.  It’s the stereotype I’m referring to.  Yip-yapping around their owners feet and clawing at the front door with uncontrollable anxiety.  That’s a future dog.

People are the same way. Most, not all, but most people become very anxious after their training. Planning a retirement at age 25 is a good example. Working toward a degree, a promotion, a new car, will keep you always taking the present for granted. Today won’t exist, except for trace amounts in the echoes of your mind. The future will be the only reality you perceive.

The problem, of course, is that it’s the other way around.

Right now is the only thing that is actually happening. The future will get here eventually, arriving moment by moment, but it won’t ever by what we predict.  And we won’t notice when it does, since a large percentage of our focus will be on another hypothetical parallel universe in which none of us actually exist.


 

Sunglasses trigger an ego reaction through perceived indifference.

There’s so much crap in the world.  If you want to succeed, give people something good.

If you are feeling depressed, it’s because you are victimizing yourself.  You can’t see the way out.  You know what the problem is, so start writing it down.  You’ll naturally start writing ways to solve it, whether through action or discussion (still action).  After writing it down you’ll feel like you are in control of your life again.  Putting things that are in your head into the physical world (writing) is a simple way to show yourself you are still have control over your life.  Google: Locus of Control.  (Thanks, Kacey.)

I buy two of the same fruit or veggie often.  One organic, one regular.

I want the organic to lose.  If they are the same in quality, flavor, and texture, then the organic loses because it is marketed as something superior.  Usually it wins.

I want organic to lose because that would mean that I outsmarted the trendy hippie-hipsters.  I want to outsmart complacency, mindless following and lack of experimentation.  The anti-scientific hearsay that is plaguing the western world and perpetuating its folly with clever marketing.  I’m a cynic.  I think a company selling the same product at a higher price knows that working class consumers are too tired, lazy, and unimaginative to research products, and just want someone to tell them what is good for them.

I want to be able to say “Ah-hah! See?!!  It’s bullshit!  There’s no such thing as “organic” because that literally means: “Any member of a large class of gaseous, liquid, or solid chemical compounds whose molecules contain carbon.”

But there are numerous definitions for everything and each story has at least two sides.  Words are weak.  it comes down to personal preference.  Labels and descriptions are often misleading.  We should always be on the lookout for bullshit, especially in a society where the most common thought that we ponder is, “how can I have more $$”  

So far. organic has a 90% success rate.  Don’t take my word for it.  Experiment for yourself.

Listening to sad music reinforces a victim mentality, which keeps you focused on the past, in your head, and kills proactivity.  It’s a shitty way to live.  Keep sad music listening to a minimum.

for 200,000 years, we had a group of friends no bigger than 30 people.  If you had a hundred friends, you knew a lot of people.  It was an event if you saw a new person.  That was a good day. Otherwise, you were working, finding food, basically hanging out with the same people.  This still happens to a large extent with the people we work with.  Between them and the people we live with, that’s a full social life.  

Insert social media.  Add 50 texts a day.  Then look at 25 people’s lives on Facebook.  Reply to some messages.  Check out a few Instagram photos.  Send a message on WhatsApp.  I’m a lightweight, too.  Other people do SnapChat and Twitter and I don’t even know what else.  

We went from interacting with less than 20 people on a daily basis to hundreds or even thousands.  

The feeling we get when we need social stimulus still comes now and then.  When that feeling isn’t there, we can take care of our work, homes, hobbies, transportation, skills, community, etc.  The human psyche evolved to handle those 20-50 people in our lives.  It’s been that way since humans started.  The overload of social media is a stressful burden.  It may require a leap in evolution.

If I truly care about learning as much as I can about coffee, which of the following would be the most effective? to act like I know more than anybody I meet, or to act like I don’t know anything?

I got no time for victimization media anymore.  Music about heartache.  I want solutions, not complicated rewordings of the problem at hand.  That is philisophical masturbation.

I just tried watching a movie called Waking Life.  I made it about 45 minutes before I turned it off.  It is dense with descriptions on how we are subjects in a modern-day slavery scenario and cannot break free from our conditioning and blah, blah, blah.  I skipped around through the rest of the movie, but it was chalked full of the same “boo-hoo, I can’t do what I want bullshit”.  It’s bullshit.  

People are afraid and don’t follow their hearts and that’s that.  I know this from all of the traveling comments that say “I wish I could do that.”  You could if you could just be honest with yourself and say, “I’m being a lazy wimp.  I have to make sacrifices to get the things I want.”  Then at least you have an honest starting point and can make the necessary change.  

Or, if you don’t really want to do this or that, than shut the fuck up and stop lying to everyone.  Just stop whining.  Do something or don’t do something, but don’t just sit there and cry like a 1st-world little bitch.  It’s always the same spoiled americans that complain about being held down by the man.  The same people who take potable water for granted, who never get food poisoning, who complain when they see a plastic bag on the sidewalk, but don’t pick it up.  

At least half of the members of our species will never know what it’s like to turn on a hot-water faucet or to be able to drink out of the sink.  Stop crying about how bad you have it in this country. It is tailored for losers and bums and winners. If you want to be a rich asshole (or rich nice, cool person), there’s no better place to become one.  If you want to point out how unfair it is that people work harder than you and get more out of life, great, you have about 200 million friends.


Approaching Cruising Altitude

The cars are so self-important. Each driver racing and cussing their neighbors.  The manicured lawns demonstrate prowess.  Empty lots of orange clay, soon to be covered in sod.  Fuck those squirrels that want to chew up my $5700 yard.  I’ll kill them all!  Far from Atlanta, a random stripe, void of trees.  Maybe a new interstate.  Big flat buildings like circuit boards with squiggly neighborhoods between.  The open green, squared off.  Growing parcels.  Rare ponds.  Trees, no trees, clay, sliced by country roads.  Cotton balls gaining numbers.  Above is blue.  Ahead is white, below is green.  These are the true colors of the world.

Food Wins

I think we avoid learning our history because it’s not a fairy tale.


 

Career soldiers are supplied via government and will eventually defeat a population who splits time between fighting and producing food.

Cities are more efficient than small towns and allow more specialized jobs.  As human population continues to grow, so does urban sprawl.  There is no right or wrong, there’s just the laws of the natural universe, one of which is force.

Suburbs and strip malls will continue to consume the countryside until the human population reaches the capacity of its food production.  We have done this throughout all of history, growing as geography and technology have allowed us.  It will suck when we run out of food, but that’s when we reach our next level of homeostasis.

A profound example relating the previous paragraphs is the hunter-gathering people who settled the Chatham Islands around AD 1500.  The islands weren’t suitable for agriculture and so small in size that population control was critical (even castrating infant males) to prevent over hunting.  They were so close-knit, they had to handle disputes diplomatically rather than violently.

When the farming people from New Zealand (one and the same people) rediscovered them in 1835, they slaughtered and enslaved their direct ancestors.  The biggest difference between the two cultures was the food production capacity of New Zealand versus that of the cold and relatively tiny Chatham islands.  (I learned this from a fascinating book called Guns, Germs, and Steel, and then fact checked with Wikipedia.)

Perhaps the single largest factor throughout human history which decides who will be conquered is food supply.  All other innovations (writing, organized government, metallurgy, etc.) seem to spawn as a result.

Rome and the christian way of life spread, not because of belief, rather the raised quality of living.  Christianity served as common ground, facilitating diplomacy and cohesion as never before, even in the most heated debates.  This is one general observation in Peter Heather’s: The Fall of the Roman Empire.  The same is happening with our new moral compass: Chipotle, AT&T, Amazon, etc. guide us because they deliver results and improve our lives.

It is nice that folks in Guatemala City can get matching bathroom mats for the price of handwoven rug by an indigenous tribe.  It’s also a little sad to see how Pizza Hut and Radio Shack replace mom-n-pap shops, slowly homogenizing the formerly unique towns and cities across the globe.

Manufactured space food will inevitably be disguised as the latest “healthy” trends, replacing simple foods recommended by the old and wise.  Anti-aging pills will promise a substitute for clean living and exercise.  We are still searching for the fountain of youth, after all.

Why do I share this?  It entertains me to understand stuff, like how humans really function.  If the right people get the right information, maybe we can avoid getting sucker-punched.


 

I find it impossible to experience joy and judgement simultaneously.

Piers and Beers

Alcohol is our friend, well at least mine.  I stay away from it because of the health implications.  In today’s developed society, we so often disregard spiritual health that ties in with the other 3: mental, emotional, and physical.

Maybe social health could be a fifth pillar of the human foundation, as quoted in the movie Chasing Mavericks, but I feel it surrounds the others like the black circle around the BMW logo.

So these alcoholic spirits quench our thirsty souls, rinsing the mildewy fog from our mental lens, leaving a clear view on important things like music, laughing, reaching out to old friends, and adventure.

A little bit goes a long way, too.  The same way that too much exercising or wiki-surfing can be unhealthy, booze can get out of control.

Enjoying life is an art form requiring practice.  My school did not teach us how to nurture the soul.  One of those gospel churches might be helpful.

Did you know that you should never get blood work done after a traumatic event?  If you get a blood test the day after a breakup, your cholesterol levers will be completely out of whack along with a host of other bio-markers.  I’m not going to bore you with details and examples, but it’s a common topic in the science community that stress is tied to physical health at a cellular level.

Too much research into nutrition and history has left me feeling dispassionate and stoic.  All work, no play…

Sitting on White St. Pier, I scribbled meaningless words into my notebook feeling like I had to complete a task I had given myself.  I can sometimes be kinda hard on myself.

Then I had an idea to get a beer, which I never do anymore out of fear of knowing what alcohol does to the gut micro-biome.  Fear.

I felt something new going to the Quick-e-mart.  Something almost forgotten.

The next thing I know, I’m with a friend at different pier for sunset.  Another friend meets us and then we’re playing wiffle ball with 10 new friends.  Then live music at Virgilios.  Good band, too.

At the end of the night, I’m lying on my back at Higg’s Pier, watching the full moon overhead.  My girlfriend Kelsey joins me after her own adventures with her girlfriends.

The next morning left me feeling relaxed and reconnected.  Less fear.  It all started with sitting on a pier, thinking about beer.

 

Outside

breeze, sun

smells, sounds

birds, lizards

bugs, butterflies

cars, people

clouds, trees

flowers, dogs

houses, streets

signs, lights

Energy

We Are Naturally Prejudiced

The car ahead slows, but there is no red light and no stop sign.  Waiting to see the reason, you stomp on the brakes, almost colliding as the car darts down a side road.  Looking at the license plate, you see they are from [INSERT STATE HERE].  You scoff and say something like, “Figures.  People from South Carolina (or California, New York, Alaska, New Mexico, etc.) can’t drive for $#*%!”

 

It doesn’t matter which state the car was licensed in.  We looooooove playing the stereotype game.  If we’re really lucky we can see what the driver looks like!  Then we get to play racist or misogynist or someone who doesn’t trust grandparents and kids, except for their own, of course.

 

It’s ok, it’s not your fault.

Well, kind of.  It wasn’t your fault until you learned that you were doing it.  Now if you do it, it’s definitely your fault.

Here’s a 15 minute video if you want to know why and how we create stereotypes and how to avoid them.

TED Talk on Stereotypes

Paul Bloom, the guy in the video, is a psychology professor at Yale.  You can even take some of his classes online for free.  (The university offers free online classes)

The lesson I took away is this modern-adapted story from philosopher Adam Smith, the father of modern economics.

“Imagine the death of a thousand people in a country you are not familiar with, such as India, China, or somewhere in Africa.  How would you respond?  You’d say that it is terrible, and go about your life as usual.

Now imagine instead that you learn that tomorrow your little finger will be cut off.  That would matter a lot to you.  You wouldn’t sleep.”

The golden rule is great in theory, but even better in practice.  We are able to actually plan ahead and set up systems to avoid our natural prejudices.

Blind auditions are used by orchestras where the musician plays behind a curtain or screen.  According to one study, the number of female musicians increased from 10% in the 1970s to 35% in the 1990s due to this interview method.

Unless you are a parthenogenically-produced hermit living in a log cabin in the inaccessible woods, you belong, even peripherally, to some tribe.  It can be a sports team, religion, political corporate entity, spiritual group, sorority or fraternity, country, cult, ethnic group, profession, sex, race, military branch, political party, pro or anti movement, or any other special interest group.” -Judith Fein, PsychologyToday.com

We may never conquer our natural tendency to categorize unfairly, mostly because it is so useful to us.

If we are honest with ourselves, we can learn each time we overreact, and then set ourselves up to handle the next situation better.

 

 

 

 

Perspectivis Randomis

The tiny sliver of the spectrum that we see, we deem important.

Electromagnetic-Spectrum.svg.png

The spectrum we are currently aware of consists of a range of around 10,000,000,000,000 (ten trillion) angstroms (Ā).  We see a range of about 3,000 angstroms (300 nanometers) of wavelength.  So based on wavelength, we see about 0.00000003% of the potential colors of the world.

How many potential senses exist?  Mark Manson has a great article where he summarizes: “To put that in perspective, imagine that for every word you’ve seen and read in this article, there are 536,303,630 other words that were written but you cannot see.”

 


My friend Loren showed me that riding your bicycle slowly enough, makes the sound of wind in your ears disappear.

You see every leaf.  You hear every bird, even crickets.

We still live in the woods.   We rearranged materials.  Matter cannot be created nor destroyed.  Everything you see is a different orientation of what was originally here.

It’s been going on for millions of years.


It is often said Key West has more churches per capita than anywhere in the country.

The city is famous for its openness to homosexuality.  We even have openly gay mayors.

Many homophobes hide behind their church, because they are afraid to stand up for who they are: under-educated douchebags who don’t respect freedom.

Homosexuality occurs in over 1,500 animal species as presented by the University of Oslo in their exhibition Against Nature at the Natural History Museum.


TV

Prevents you from getting useful things done.  Learning languages, instruments, making anything, writing.  Studying anything in depth is impossible.

If we all know it’s not good for us, why do we let ourselves get hooked on TV shows?

I think it might be because we are lonely.  One summer when my brother and I were about 11 and 9 years old we watched daytime television.  We had no cable TV and the only shows after The Price Is Right were soap operas.  That summer we got hooked on Days of Our Lives.

After 20 years, I still believe it takes 3 episodes to get hooked on a show.  It doesn’t really matter how stupid it is.

How does it work?

We get to know the characters.  We now have “friends” with personalities and backgrounds and it doesn’t matter how many shows they write, we’ll keep watching them.  It appears to provide social health.


 

I used to relax with a sigh after a deliberate, deep, chest inhale.  I often prepared to relax.  My friend Cori Carlo showed me some pages from Thich Naht Hanh, which suggested that we can establish peace with EVERY step.  Now I relax with the inhale.  I don’t want my life to be a means to an end.

Another trick you can try is to put a hand on your ribs and feel them move when you breath.


I find it interesting that dogs and people can have meaningful communication without words.


 

I would like to attempt to clear up some confusion between capitalism and consumerism.

First, I would like to share my findings and sentiments toward a famous revolutionary, Che Guevara.  Originally a doctor from Argentina, Che met revolutionaries in Mexico and sailed with them to Cuba to overthrow the corrupt government to fight the exploitation of Latin people.

If you read a bit of recent world history, you already know the indigenous people in Caribbean islands, Central America, Mexico, and the countries of South America were captured, slaughtered, tortured, forced into slavery to work in mines to produce Spain with gold and precious stones / metals.  Pirates then came to rip off the gold filled Spanish galleons, etc., etc.

The sentiment just before the Cuban Missile Crisis was that imperialist America (yes, if you use military force to facilitate trade and production of food, precious metals, and cheap shit through poor countries, people will call you names) was using neocolonialism to “farm” resources without exploiting it’s own people and land.  Ever heard of the Panama Canal?  This sentiment is still in existence far and wide.  Don’t act so shocked.

******I am merely explaining another perspective.  I don’t imagine I will make up my mind anytime soon, as there are many more books to read and places to visit.******

From another point of view, the U.S. has used interventions such as the Monroe Doctrine and Roosevelt Corollary to protect the latin peoples from european exploitation.  As a world constantly becoming more integrated, it’s kinda hard not to intervene.

The questions in Che’s head became: “Why is a country like Bolivia, with major exports of gold and jewelry so poor?  Why do workers in the mines have an average life expectancy of 30 years?  Why is the mortality rate at 30% for children under the age of 5?  (It was 2.6% at that time in the U.S.)  Cuba wasn’t looking so good either.  Che wanted to fix this first. So, to make a long story short, he trained some rebels and defeated the national military.  Later he renounced his status as a Cuban citizen and went to Congo to attempt another revolution.  It was a failure, so after speaking in NYC and Europe and visiting Asia, he finally went to Bolivia to attempt yet another revolution.  His rebel forces were defeated and he was killed.

One problem I see with his plan and other ideologies similar to marxism, socialism, communism, stalinism, etc. is that, it appears to me, they don’t take into account the human factor.  People are lazy, immoral opportunists.  Socialism is all about equality, but people are all different and far from perfect.  Even the seemingly uncompromising Che married another woman while he was already married with a child.

**(Famous criminals such as Al Capone and even serial killers have been questioned and studied to find out if they ever believed that they were guilty.  The interesting thing about human psychology is that we make reasons in our head such that we are always in the right.  When we run a red light, we think, “It’s no big deal, I’m in a hurry.”  When we are waiting at an intersection and someone else runs a red light, they are the asshole.)**

Capitalism on the other hand, in my opinion, fits human tendencies better.  People are rewarded for being self-centered egotists, which we all are.

While capitalism may be the instrument in taking advantage of defenseless populations and natural resources, I don’t believe it is the root cause.  The same way a gun cannot fire itself, it is the greedy, senseless consumer that drives the machine.  Petty westerners—with 56 different drinking glasses in their kitchen cabinet, who leave the air conditioning on the lowest setting while they are away at work, who throw away zip-lock plastic bags because they held a sandwich once, who can’t drive home without buying something cheap and internationally manufactured so they can go home and throw away something that no longer matches this season’s décor—are what keeps the global economy so freakishly lop-sided.  I don’t blame any rich CEO for taking advantage of the unquenchable desires of the ridiculous and oblivious masses.  I might do the same if I hadn’t seen the world from so many angles.  Who knows, maybe I still will.

“Americans… are forever searching for love in forms it never takes, in places it can never be. It must have something to do with the vanished frontier.” -Kurt Vonnegut

Consumerism also exploits our weaknesses such as loneliness, guilt, and fear.  When I get off work, I have an urge to stop at a restaurant to see some familiar faces and “help” out local businesses.  They should be able to thrive or go broke based on product and service, not pity.

I feel guilty and lonely and spend my time-earned-money on food and drinks that cost 6-10 times (imagine how much less you would have to work if you didn’t do this) more than if I had discipline, a sense of wholeness, and was comfortable with my daily routine.

Ironic as it seems, frugality is what makes a man wealthy.  Ben Franklin agrees in his autobiography when, at a young age, he sees all of his co-workers spending their whole paychecks on beer and liquor:

“I thought it a detestable custom; but it was necessary, he suppos’d, to drink strong beer, that he might be strong to labor. I endeavored to convince him that the bodily strength afforded by beer could only be in proportion to the grain or flour of the barley dissolved in the water of which it was made; that there was more flour in a pennyworth of bread; and therefore, if he would eat that with a pint of water, it would give him more strength than a quart of beer. He drank on, however, and had four or five shillings to pay out of his wages every Saturday night for that muddling liquor; an expense I was free from. And thus these poor devils keep themselves always under.”


“Carbohydrates—sugars and long chains of sugar molecules like starch–are the most abundant organic compounds on earth.  They are synthesized from water and carbon dioxide by plants in the process of photosyntheses, which transforms the sun’s electromagnetic energy–sunlight–into chemical energy.”-On Food and Cooking (McGee)

Humans create more CO2, which plants use to create more sugar, which humans consume more of each year, so that we can produce more CO2.  Life, being an intelligent and, so far, successful entity, is thriving.  The idea that we know as much about the health of this planet as Life is asinine.  We did not survive through the last ice age as a bunch of idiots.  We were smart then, maybe as smart as we are now, but we are nearly oblivious when compared to Life.  Whatever force causes our DNA to mutate, experiment, and evolve, is now having us use our environment to create very large carbon emissions.  I think there is a reason for it.  I think the greenhouse gases are helping us to create a world with fewer ice bergs and more jungles.  What has more life?  The tundra of Russia or the rainforests of Brazil?  Higher temperatures globally might not be such a bad thing and it may not be Life controlling it at all, but rather adapting to it.  After all, we have been coming out of an ice age the last 20,000 years…


{“Tocqueville thought that American insistence on the idea of equality had a massive effect on the general attitudes of citizens toward the conduct of life.  In a society where all are equal, individuals will find the ultimate authority in matters of opinion and belief [sic] not in anyone else, or in the traditional values of class or nation, but in themselves.  Corollary to this idea is a general optimism which this observed from the Old World found unwarranted.  Americans, he said, have an exaggerated sense of the individual’s control over his own destiny, and an equally mistaken sense of the perfectibility of human nature.

This begins to explain why Americans might ignore the advice of expert on one hand, and yet put their faith in the inexorable progress of “scientific” nutrition on the other.  Tocqueville’s analysis also suggests why it is that we should be especially interested in our diet.  He described a distinctly American materialism, now long taken for granted, and argued that it too springs from the root idea of equality.  In class societies, the rich take material well-being for granted, and the poor take its impossibility for granted.  Only the middle class, because it is within reach of prosperity but not guaranteed it, must be obsessed with the struggle for wealth.  The “classless” because “equal” Americans are blessed and cursed, by default with the position of the middle class.  Said Tocqueville, “It is strange to see with what feverish ardor the Americans pursue their own welfare, and to watch the vague dread that torments them lest they should not have chosen the shortest path which may lead to it.”  This is precisely what dietary fads offer: an easy shortcut to health and long life, which are the chief of material goods because the prerequisites for enjoying all others.} – McGee p. 519 [On Food And Cooking]


 

“No hurries, no worries,” said the mouse to the screw.  Or was it a shrew?  It didn’t matter, ’cause the mouse had time to talk to two.

“No hurries, no worries,” he said to himself as he put the book he was reading back on the shelf.

With a calm head, the mouse said, “What do I want? Ah, yes, some cheese with my bread!”

While the other mice scurried and flustered and flurried, this mouse took his time and made a plan.  There was no hurry.

The other mice kept their weary heads down.  They used all their energy running around.  Their poor paws were beat from the cold, hard ground.

“No hurries, no worries,” Bert said in his head.  “If I follow this racket, I’ll never get fed.”

So he sat and watched them wear themselves out.  And he thought:  Don’t follow them, I’ll make a new route.  He walked to the wall and climbed over and out.

The next stop was China, then Paris and Peru.  It didn’t cost much and was easy to do.  The scary stories he heard weren’t even true.

The world was real nice and moved pretty slow, compared to all the places that he used to go.

The people even smiled and spent time having fun.  They had no alarm clocks except for the sun.

They said, “Good morning!” to strangers that walked by.  They enjoyed their breakfast everyday and here’s why:

“No hurries, no worries,” they say with a sigh.

Take a moment now and just look around.  Be still. Take in the sound.

There’s a whole world waiting for someone exactly like you, just to slow down and decide what you really want to do.

Don’t worry, there really is no hurry.  The answer will come now or it’ll come later.  For now just avoid the fearful, everyday hater.

Write down a plan that makes sense and stick to it.  Check on your progress and course correct when you think you blew it.

This is all you gotta do to be like Bert the mouse.  Stop believing there’s only one way to build a house.