Some years ago (close to two hundred, some say) Mr. Thoreau built himself a small cabin on Walden Pond in Concord, Massachusetts, and proceeded to stay there for a couple of years… From that stay came his most recognized body of work, “On Walden Pond”, a reflection on life, liberty and the pursuit of the human being… (or … was it the other way around?)
I can’t quite put myself away for two years although, I have to admit, this has been strongly suggested on more than a couple of occasions. So, the very next best thing was to create my own little pond space somewhere in that virtual world that modern technology has put at our disposal, where we can get so easily lost and there, let my mind wander around and come up with some thoughts and ideas of its own. I remember the times when, if we did this we could easily be classified as being “not quite altogether there”…
Ahhh!!! Blessed be the cyber world and the acceptance it brings to our heretofore mundane and simple fantasies…
And no, this has nothing to do with the (in)famous “arriving at the sunset of life” state of mind. As far as I am concerned, every day is nothing less than a new adventure –be it an oft repeated one- where the good, the bad and the ugly meet in order to create a unique experience. It is never the same, although it may be at times similar to others before it. The uniqueness comes from the little bit more of experience gained in that period of time which has taken place since the last turn this particular set of circumstances happened.
Confused yet? No?... Just wait… Whereas M. Thoreau went to
Walden Pond in order to get away from it
all, I go to Wally’s Pond in order to actually connect with it all. I want to connect with my alter ego, that
individual who usually continues to question life, for the simple sake of
questioning. Nothing well structured should fear a well placed question and, in
these times, most things which are postulated are not only open to being
questioned, but definitely should be.
I am not, have never been and expect that will never be a socialist. As M. Thatcher well put it: “Socialism only works until the other fellow’s money runs out” … why do I say this? I am not in agreement with “big” government; I am not in agreement with my government doling out our money right and left, just so that a few more votes can be bought.
I dislike it intensely when the government (whichever one happens to be, no discrimination here) sponsors or rams through a measure which does not have majority agreement, just to purchase a hold on the votes of a population segment in an election year. This I consider an insult to my intelligence and should be to yours as well.
I do not like to pay excessive taxes, but I am OK with paying a fair amount of taxes and having this money put to work intelligently (yeah, I know… government and intelligent spending in the same sentence creates an oxymoron) so that we can all –or at least a majority- benefit from the results of the spending. There are times when the other fellow’s interests will win out, sometimes mine may. This is also OK, that is the way it is supposed to work. But not always the other way.
I was brought up in a world where efforts and results were to be commended and rewarded; where those who lived off the efforts of others (excluding ill, elder and truly incapacitated folks) were to be looked at as parasites. We seem to have changed this concept to one which expounds that “those who work and produce are fools who should be looked at as tools to reward those who twist a badly structured system into supporting their every whim”. It seems that we are well on our way to creating a society where those who have worked and created wealth are the parasites, and those who claim an unearned share of the product of the work of those "parasites" are the righteous ones.
In other times, having a child was generally thought of as being the result of an act of love between two people. Today, in more than one segment of society, having a child has become a road to more government assistance, food, money and stamps. In more than a few “families” there may be as many as 5-7 children, living in squalor, while their often single parents do not work and yet have the apparent means to have a car, house, better clothing than the average person can afford and to go eating and drinking regularly. And we continue to support this deviation from recognized values. And to cringe away from those who are quick to claim “prejudice and discrimination” whenever someone disagrees with their nonworking ways.
I don’t know if it is the years lived, the difficult moments passed, the times gone without much food… but always with the understanding that it was my responsibility to find a way to get it. Not someone else’s. Perhaps it is the 45 years of work with too few vacations and the constant tax payments… The time spent away from my family while pursuing my chosen professional life… the personal sacrifices made along the way... perhaps all these together create a veneer of low tolerance for a new generation of freeloaders who aim to wrongly deplete in a few months what it took many like me years to build up.
Aw Shucks!!! Nothing like sitting on the shores of Wally’s Pond to let the imagination fly wildly into those realms which tend to bring up the ol’ blood pressure… so… I let it go … for now. But soon I'll come back and sit a while again...
Jest remember folks… the things we hold most dear in life cannot be taken for granted, ever. We have to always continue to defend them and to make sure that those who want to reap the benefits, have earned the right to do so.
Be Well … Be Back!!!
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