Manual labor is the best thing for your mind. (Now, there’s a bit of an anomaly here: my lungs are still clearing from the altitude sickness and I paid dearly for yesterday’s activities — but I’m home safe once again, and life – and healing – goes on.)
Once again – Manual labor is the best thing to get your mind going. While your body is busy doing hard, repetitive things, your mind is freed and kicks into high gear. So I split into two yesterday, here is how it came about, and here is the result.
It began with the delivery truck. This is not what I planned for the day, I’m not quite ready for physical work, but Son had a good idea and the timing was right . . . and it just all happened.
Ready or Not – here it comes:
Sometimes – and here my mind woke up and started to work – sometimes there is a problem and it has to be taken care of, but you just aren’t in charge of the timing nor how things proceed.
Now, the world has been presented with three problems like that:
The Border: (all borders: European, Scandinavian, Canadian, and American) We were just informed that it’s not 57,000 foreign “children” that have been brought into our country in these last months, (the children being mainly male teenagers, ages 16 – 22 or so), but it is also anywhere from 150,000 to 300,000 adults that have been counted. . . . depending on your sources.
Israel: Israel is trying to destroy enemy tunnels and sources of the endless missiles that are being lobbed onto Israeli citizens. You may have read that 13 Israeli special forces were just killed. Did you hear how? They were blown up by a rocket whose launcher was hidden in a home – a family home, with parents and children… and Hamas fighters inside. Death came from inside a civilian home.
The Malaysian Plane Crash: The EU and America are making a case for some kind of confrontation with Russia, based upon “reports” and imagined scenarios and rumored likely probabilities. Putin is now the very devil.
My own problem, however, was looming larger in my mind yesterday. All 6 cubic yards –
The nice truck driver took special care to make sure we got every last morsel of good dirt.
Now it was our task, Son and I, to deal with our new “problem.” Methodically, we began to reduce the big pile of dirt by creating little piles all over the property, wherever it was needed.
I quickly ran out of strength faster than we ran out of dirt.
I tried not to think about that. I thought instead about the reading I had been doing recently. I told you I was going to start my “Fall course of study” early, reading and re-studying the French Revolution. So from the teacher experience in me, let me give you a little quiz:
Do you know – or even care – how the first Bourbon king of France, Henry IV, satisfied the merchants, the bourgeoisie, the middle class and the nobility, thus providing a period of internal peace for France?
Do you understand how Prime Minister Mazarin completed the work of Cdl. Richelieu and yet put a fatal strain on the structure of the monarchy in France?
Moving on in time, do you know how Louis XV was not really interested in doing the hard work of governing his country, but rather played golf…went on extended vacations away from the capital…. preferred to attend numerous dinners surrounded by supporters who praised him … Ooops – wrong century. I mean he preferred to play lawn croquet, dance with the ladies and gentlemen, visit his country estates, and eat sumptuous banquets surrounded by supporters who seemed to adore him?
The more things change the more they stay the same, right?
The more we shoveled the dirt away the slower that pile went down, it seemed. Two thirds of the way through the day, we still had lots of this “problem” to get through, to shovel away. We had to concentrate on our efforts to keep going. I learned close up the power and strength and stamina of a young man (Son) in his single-minded determination to get the job done.
Here’s where I’m going with all this:
I thought about our problems, today, what we have to live with. I thought about the people in France during the 17th and 18th centuries, and the historical “problems” they lived with.
I was wondering whether common, everyday citizens of France (subjects of their king) really were aware of the details of kingly rule and historical developments. They had little knowledge or control over what their rulers did. They lived lives of local concern.
I was wondering whether common, everyday citizens of the U.S. (subjects, really of our Rulers now) have much control over the decisions made by our Rulers. We have an apparent participation in government when we pay such close attention to the entertainment/news media. We are moved this way and that way by the suggestions we hear in the media, and current events is our occasional spectator sport.
But in the end, unless it is our charism to run for office and become a leader in government, it is things of local concern, personal concern that occupies our attention and should command our best efforts.
Where did all our new dirt go yesterday? Well, apart from a few strategically located smaller piles for future use, Son patched up a few holes, a few problem areas.
It doesn’t look so pretty right now, but we’re in the process of solving little problems.
Like a participatory democracy, once the citizens lose control, it’s not a pretty sight and it’s going to be messy for a while — if indeed we can concentrate our attention on the problem.
Woman to Benjamin Franklin: “What kind of government did you give us?”
Franklin to Woman: “A republic, Madam, if you can keep it.”