Monday, April 27, 2009

Words of Wisdom: Why Not?

A plant of 'sage' advice. Photo from Echter Salbei

It's always great to start off the week with a nugget or two of wisdom, and when I found this over at the Animá blog I thought this was most fitting.

So grab a cup of coffee or tea, and curl up for some good words!



Why Not?

by Jesse Wolf Hardin


When I was a young kid in military school, a wise teacher told me the most important question to ask in life was “Why?” His wise-guy student, however, insisted the real question of relevance was “Why not?” For example, why not let me take more electives? Or work ten hour days in order to have an extra day out of school? Why not let me make my own decisions, and then both deserve the rewards and pay the price for my actions? Why not give Sergeant stripes for initiative instead of awarding them for for silent obedience? Or give myself to a series of exciting adventures like my heroes in the books?

Some things never change. For example, I don’t need to ask why the banking system collapsed or why failed bankers give themselves millions of dollars in bonuses, nor do do I wonder why both political parties allowed them to run away with our hard earned tax dollars just like I predicted months ago. I and millions of others already know why this country is going to hell in a hand-basket, why most people care only about their credit card limits and WallyWorld shopping baskets, why nature suffers even at the hands of administrations with the best of intentions, and why even free-thinking citizens have been taught to believe that they’re insignificant and powerless.

More pertinent (or temperamentally impertinent) is “Why not”… as in why not grab the executives of disgraced conglomerate AIG, strip them of every ill gotten and ill deserved dollar, vacation house, racing horse and yacht, strip them down to a basic working person’s wardrobe and a single 1980’s Chevy family car? Why not let the poorly managed banks go bankrupt, and then see what takes their place? Why not develop locally based banks that loan only to – and invest only in – the local community and its needs? Why not purchase houses directly from the owners, with them carrying the loan? And why not get the heck away from credit for anything smaller than purchase of land, a business or home? Why not live on what we can really produce, spend only what we have, spend only our money instead of the money of our children’s children’s children? Raise gardens, wildcraft and barter?

Why not put the stress on local production, instead of worldwide markets? Export only finished goods instead of raw resources? Make decisions locally, for the good of the region? Why not build things to last, instead of making tons of crappy things that don’t? Why not be your own boss, believe in yourself, act to make your hopes a reality, buck convention to be your real self, risk income and credibility by fulfilling a crazy lifelong dream? Why not see getting fired as an opportunity to move to the country, or to get out of that townhouse and move into a cheap 20 foot fishing boat? Why not start creating a world different from the one being crammed down our throats, instead of remaining “victims” lost in a flurry of deadlines and narcotic cloud of banal television shows? Why not cleave to the “old ways” and values of the distant past, when what’s modern is often of no value and what’s new should be questioned?

Why not honor and defend the essential liberties and rights as spelled out in the Constitution, regardless of popular whimsical opinion, regardless of legislation and repression? Why not attempt the impossible, fight for what’s right, and stand up against all that isn’t? Speak the truth even if it’s problematic, goes against the grain of our standard-cut populace, or gets us into trouble? Why not voice our amazement, umbrage and outrage, to neighbors that need to hear it, so called “leaders” who don’t want to hear it, on pirate radio waves and in the columns of newspapers struggling to make it? Why not plant our urban yards with native plants, encourage flower boxes on every stretch of concrete, or even start tearing some of the suffocating concrete up? Put the earth first, and see ourselves as integral flesh and blood of that earth? What about standing-out for a change, instead of always fitting into some slot, or buying what we really want and need instead of what’s considered trendy and hot?

To quote country-western singer Dwight Yoakum in a line of one his hits, “Why, Baby, why not?”

(copy or forward this as you please…)


Medusae said...

Really well put. I will forward this!

nefaeria said...

Glad you liked it and thanks for passing it along! :)

perma_culture said...

Great advice. They have plenty over there =^)

cammie said...

This is very good advice. I don't think it could have come at a better time.