Friday, September 26, 2008

Tending Our Gardens

I woke up this morning with (little Prozac left in me, and realizing we were out of eggs....etc...) this realization that the economy is going down the toobs (sic), and that soon places like bookstores and luxury items will become very much luxury items. At least, that is what the media would have us believe. The doomsayers and the democrats would have us believe that everything is going to hell in a handbasket (I love using cliches), and the government is the only thing that can save us all from ourselves. Meanwhile, Atlanta is suffering from unexplainable gas shortages (Conyers seems okay), and people are out blaming every politician they can find.

But before we all start jumping out windows, let us focus on what really matters. At the end of the day, all that matters is the family we go home to, putting food on the table (not going out to Applebee's or having organically made food with no preservatives), and being with the people that we love. Maybe it's time for the people that have become so dependent on fast food, fast internet, instant communications via cell phones, to come home, fix a PB&J, read a book, or play a board game, or something like that.

And if I may suggest, everyone should pick up a copy of Voltaire's Candide, which is a magnificent work of satire and a hilarious work of literature, as well as very fitting for today's world. The main characters go all around the world, having adventures, meeting all these people, just to find out what true happiness is. And in the end, they come home with their friends and maintain that true, pure happiness does not exist. Rather, hard work and being close with the loved ones in your life is what keeps us going. It has to. They do this by tending their gardens. They grow food to eat and to sell, and that is how they live the remainder of their days.

The image of the garden is so poignant, for it is used everywhere as a symbol of the sustenance of life, be it religious, or in history, or in literature. It's what makes this whole civilization we have possible. If not for food grown from the ground, we would still be hunting animals and gathering wild berries. With a garden, Thoreau was able to observe the very essence of life. Emerson called it "Self-Reliance," and that's what I say we need to do. Be self-reliant in what we do, from actually growing a garden, to doing our jobs and earning money and spending it wisely on the people that we hold dear. We must tend our gardens, as Voltaire says, and only then will we survive whatever the economy or life throws at us.

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