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Economy

WaldenSomewhere between starting dinner and mopping the floor, I decided to write this article. And somewhere between the big kids and the girls, I dreamed that my husband and I would eat dinner out every night, as in the routine of Regis Philbin. Hasnít happened, partly because we enjoy fresh seafood, which is hard to find at restaurants here. And, itís impractical to expect a family to eat out every night. After all, most of my kids have always liked pot roast, spaghetti and meat sauce, or stewed chicken with gravy and mashed potatoes. Not the kind of fare, I would be interested in dining on other than at home. Never stop at a restaurant that claims to serve delicious home cooked meals, Iíve heard. Good advice, unless youíre on a road trip out in the middle of nowhere, and forgot to pack the peanut butter and jelly.

One of our homeschool goals this season is reading Walden by Henry David Thoreau. Set in 1845, it is an autobiographical account of a young manís perspectives on life while living near Walden Pond. Thoreau is not quite twenty-eight as he takes on the project of living in moderation. Through his descriptive writing, we visualize society at that time and his opinionated observations give us a better understanding of Thoreau himself.

Weíve just finished Economy. In elementary terms, M & E consider him to be mean and inconsiderate. This is because he sounds condescending in his characterizations of others in his society. I believe he is but a thoughtful observer contemplating the simplicity of man.

On the other hand, I am intrigued by his enlightenment and ponder his observations as a reminder of how little, people change over time. Generation after generation seems to want to keep up with the Jonesís, and compare themselves to others based on how much stuff they can buy. Living abundantly is our true nature, so having things isnít a problem until we place too much importance on their value. The real test comes when theyíre gone. Itís a sad thing to realize that it takes real hardship for many to discover that peace comes from within, not from without.

Now, Iíd better go check the food.

©11/04/08




 

 
     

 

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