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The Musings of A Simple Country Man

"Let The Revolution Begin...."

I would rather sit on a pumpkin and have it all to myself than to be crowded on a velvet cushion. --Henry David Thoreau

The eagle is a powerful bird. He flies alone. He rises up with authority into the sky. He is master of all he surveys. He is an individualist and was selected in the old days to be our symbol. -Norman Vincent Peale, How to be Your Best


By Hobie Morris

04/01/06 "ICH" -- For over 25 years my wife and I have lived on Thoreau's "pumpkin" here in rural, sparsely populated central New York. We live a simple, frugal and uncluttered life without electricity, running water, inside plumbing (we use a privy) in a small uninsulated house heated with firewood that I cut and split by hand. In many ways our lifestyle is more primitive than that of the Amish people.

How we have managed--as we have slipped into seniorhood--without life's "essentials" may be of some passing interest in future "musings."

We need a new generation of young people, and older people too, who will be their
own fine, good, honest dedicated selves, who will be so different from the common
herd that everyone will look at them in astonishment.
--Norman Vincent Peale

Many people apparently do look at us with astonishment. Wondering how we have survived such a rigorous and at times very difficult and dangerous lifestyle. The Welsh have an old proverb: A ddioddefodd a orfu--who has endured has overcome. By the grace of God--and a great deal of hard work by the both of us--we have miraculously "endured" and in the process "overcome."

Living simply has allowed us the time and opportunity to pursue many meaningful and stimulating interests. Among them classical music, reading, writing and corresponding with an incredibly diverse number of men and women throughout the world. My lovely wife of 40 years Lois has corrected and typed many thousands of my letters and articles throughout our wonderful marriage. A truly beautiful woman descended from the hardy upper Midwest Norwegian stock. She is an amazing person. A 21st century "pioneer" woman well versed in all the talents necessary to live without the generally accepted necessities.

If my musings contain some redeeming value it is largely thanks to Lois' editorial expertise--although knowing her as well as I do she would no doubt disagree with my laudatory assessment of her many contributions.

Marcus Aurelius has written "our life is what our thoughts make it."

Many of my thoughts have been influenced by the musings of others.

I'm a devotee of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Scott and Helen Nearing, and my good friend Wendell Berry, among others. Each in his way has been a highly individualistic, independent, self reliant, free thinking and freedom loving "eagle."

I've also been inspired by the writings of Thomas a. Kempis. In a 1989 translation of The Imitation of Christ I found this meaningful nugget.

My friend, there are many things in life that you must simply pass by...you must not
allow yourswelf to be caught up in the workings of the world; you must find time
alone, away from noise and confusion, away from the allure of power and wealth. You
must turn a deaf ear to many things and think instead on those things that contribute to
your peace.

God only knows for what reason I've been marching to the beat of a drum that only I can hear ever since my earthly journey began the year World War II started in Europe.

I guess this has led me to be an "unreasonable" sort of person throughout my life.

The best definition of this "unreasonableness" was once penned by George Bernard Shaw. Shaw wrote "the reasonable man adapts himself to the world. The unreasonable man persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man."

As a life long student (and one time teacher) of history I'm convinced that America reached its greatest apogee during the years that I've personally witnessed. America's rapid decline has also taken place during this time. A decline so swift and shockingly steep that it's left many of us gasping for breath. We search for anchors to halt this descent--but so far in vain.

Alexander Solzhenitsyn said it clearly.

Must one point out that from ancient time a decline in courage has been considered
the first symptom of the end?

Courage, compassion and truthfulness!

I believe that millions of Americans can personally relate to the one time famous circus hobo clown (who never smiled) "Weary Willie" (in real life Emmett Kelly).

"Willie" is a sad and ragged little guy who is very serious about everything no matter how futile or foolish it appears to be.

In "Willie's" unspoken words he might say: "I am the hobo who found out the hard way that the deck is stacked, the dice 'frozen,' the race fixed, and the wheel crooked."

But I suspect that like Willie there is present in all of us a tiny forlorn spark of hope--which keeps us trying and pressing on.

Do you feel like Willie? I know I do.

New York State for instance was once widely known for good reason as the "Empire State." It was the envy of other states and nations. Today this state, in my opinion, is a pathetic imitation of its past glory. What we have now in over abundance is burdensome and oppressive taxes, a bloated and inefficient governmental bureaucracy, corruption, powerful special intersts, entrenched and unresponsive political leaders--the list goes on and on. In total they painfullly and sadly remind us just how badly we are governed. It's especially sad for this simple country man because so far the electorate has not demonstrated the courage to make the necessary changes to improve these conditions.

Dr. Warren Bennes has observed that "the status quo will not help us march ahead; that I can guarantee."

Conditions I've attempted to describe here in New York State I believe accurately mirror those in our Federal government. A ruling body increasingly out of touch with reality, the needs of the citizens; fueled and beholden to powerful special interests etc. that in total make a mockery of the lofty democratic goals of our Founding Fathers--slowly perfected over 200 years. Today we find many of our officials morally and ethically corrupt. Their masters seemingly are special interest profiteers who are the power brokers behind the governmental throne. America is paying a terrible price for this demise of democracy as we mortgage our future and unnecessarily shed the blood of our young people in ill advised disastrous foreign adventures.

American democracy--that ironically we want to impose by force elsewhere in the world--has become in many important ways a hollow, weakening sham. A cleverly orchestrated con job where the "herd" (most Americans I'm sad to say) are kept appeased and satisfied by just enough "scraps" thrown to them by the plutocracy who are gorging themselves at the table of economic plenty. The rich are getting richer while the "Weary Willies" of society sink deeper and deeper into debt, despair and hopelessness.

Is there "a tiny spark of hope" anywhere in this discouraging picture? Yes there is. I believe the "spark" will come from the innovative, resourceful and courageous "eagles" (I personally know several of them) who perch, ready to fly all across America.

Ralph W. Emerson and M. Ghandi expressed similar thoughts in different words.

Emerson wrote that "every revolution was first a thought in one man's mind." Ghandi: "we must be the change we wish to see in the world."

To this simple country man these courageous, unconventionally thinking men and women are not only eagles but they are the 21st century's reincarnation of the 1776 patriots/revolutionaries. People who are fearless and determined to change the status quo and unresponsive governmental system that has among other nefarious things shredded many of our sacred freedoms.

If America is to reclaim its greatness, revolutionary, far sweeping changes are inevitable and mandatory. I believe America's most dangerous threat is not from terrorists but from within. If these implosive forces are neglected they will eventually blow this once great and proud country apart. America Balkanized? I don't believe it's impossible!

Warning. The winds of change will be in for some very dangerous and difficult weather. Resistance will be powerful and probably repressive (a condition already in evidence).

The "eagles" must and will be resolute because from their minds and in their actions is the future of democracy. If democracy lives the eagles must fly high.

...Here once the embattled farmers stood
And fired the shot heard round the world.

--Ralph W. Emerson, Concord Hymn

For this simple country man my plea is simple:

Let the revolution begin!

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