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____Day one (first day for this Wiki)
Dates
* fourth Thursday of each November - [Thanksgiving|http://www.holidays.net/thanksgiving/]
* 23 - [Buy Nothing Day]
* 01 - [World AIDS Day]
* Month xx - Father's Day
* Month xx - Mother's Day
Weblog2001November
Fun Facts about [Happy Birthday to You|http://www.ibiblio.org/team/fun/birthday/]
As per [Peter Russell]'s [Age in Days|http://www.peterussell.com/age.html] : I am 10959 days old !
[Wayne Dyer] : Have you really lived 10,000 or more days,
or have you lived one day 10,000 or more times?
Today is [Buy Nothing Day]
([via|http://www.livejournal.com/users/msram/day/2001/11/07] [Mahesh Shantaram]) [Carlton Vogt]'s [Ethics Matters|http://www2.infoworld.com/cgi/component/columnarchive.wbs?column=ethics]
Today is [Sri Skanda Sashti] - [Kanta Shasti Vratam|http://murugan.org/research/senthilwerl2.htm]
After reading [Andre Durand]'s [Global Consciousness 1.0|http://discuss.andredurand.com/stories/storyReader$187], I have an idea about combining this thought with [Quaker]ism... Why not we implement a system where members can raise 1 issue per day and only 1 a day, Every other member can post their opinion after careful thought and it would be possible to edit the opinion only a few times within the next 1/2 hour ! and That's it ! - I will try to refine it !
([via|http://doc.weblogs.com/2001/11/19#andBlogsNeedClay] [Doc Searls]) November 23rd is [Buy Nothing Day] , [Clay Shirky] needs a blog !
[World AIDS Day] is on December 1st
We went to [Dachau] today to visit the [Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site].
Later we went to Munich and waited in the [Marienplatz|http://www.muenchen-tourist.de/deutsch/stadtinformationen/plaetze/marienplatz.htm] for the [Glockenspiel im Rathausturm|http://www.muenchen-tourist.de/englisch/stadtinformationen/plaetze/muenchen-stadtinformationen-sehenswuerdigkeiten-plaetze_e_m.htm]. But, in winter, it only happens once a day at 11AM !
[Peter J. Denning]'s new book is [The Invisible Future: The Seamless Integration of Technology into Everyday Life]
Today is yet another [Deepavali] away from India...
[Satya Viswanathan|http://www.coroflot.com/satyaviswanathan] : [Ho! I went to America|http://www.livejournal.com/users/satyav/day/2001/10/11]
On Monday, November 12, 2001, at 11:54 pm
[We] and [Chandramouli Mahadevan] went to [Linderhof] today
[Usha Balakrishnan]'s Birthday
I hurt myself yesterday while playing badminton... Nothing Serious... But I am thinking about [Relative and Absolute Happiness] and about people who are handicapped
Read It and Think It
3. A magician was boasting one day at how long he could hold his
said, "that's nothing, I can stay under water for 10 minutes using no types of equipment or air pockets!" The magician told the kid if he could do that, he'd give him $10,000. The kid did it and won the money. Can you figure out how?
5. What is black when you buy it, red when you use it, and gray when you throw it away?
6. Can you name three consecutive days without using the words
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, or Sunday?
7. This is an unusual paragraph. I'm curious how quickly you can find out what is so unusual about it? It looks so plain you would think nothing was wrong with it! In fact, nothing is wrong with it! It is unusual though. Study it, and think about it, but you still may not find anything odd. But if you work at it a bit, you might find out! Try to do so without any coaching!
6. Sure you can: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow!
Buy Nothing Day
[Dates] > Buy Nothing Day
Weblog2001December
[Albert Einstein] : There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.
[Peter Koestenbaum] in [After Shock|http://www.fastcompany.com/online/54/aftershock.html] : ...We must resolve to work with greatness and never forget to do so again. Every workday is a concert, a Nobel-prize ceremony, or an Olympic victory...
[Anton Skorucak]'s [Holiday Wish]
[Jim Roepcke] [receives|http://jim.roepcke.com/2001/12/24#item3879] a Canadian Holiday Greeting
The Rhine ferry " Drusus " connects Germany with France. We were on this today
We saw [Lord of the Rings] yesterday night and at the end, a boy sitting in front of us kept shouting "Was Was Was..." several times ! and I had a similar reaction in my head !
We were in [Colmar] yesterday
Happy Holidays to [Dave Winer], [Netizen]s et al
We are connecting to the net from today with [dsl flat|http://www.billiger-surfen.de/tarifmodelle.php3?name=T-Online&verbindungsnbz=dsl+flat&gueltigab=2001-08-01&gueltigbis=0000-00-00] :-)
I received [Drive10] today. The interface could be better... It could tell us more about what is doing behind the scenes...
[IBM's Test-Tube Quantum Computer Makes History|http://www.research.ibm.com/resources/news/20011219_quantum.shtml] : ...Scientists at IBM's Almaden Research Center have performed the world's most complicated quantum-computer calculation to date. They caused a billion-billion custom-designed molecules in a test tube to become a seven-qubit quantum computer that solved a simple version of the mathematical problem at the heart of many of today's data-security cryptographic systems...
I started eating vegetarisch [Flammkuchen|http://www.cantate86.de/flammkuchen.htm] at 12:05 today morning !!!
[Jim Roepcke] [:|http://jim.roepcke.com/2001/12/09] I've been reading through the [AppleScript] documentation throughout the day today. So far I'm very impressed.
I did something at work which makes me think of the [Elegant Hack] which is being powered by [movabletype] since some days...
I was looking for a [Digital Camera] and the winner is [Digital IXUS]. We bought it at [New York Camera] yesterday in person. [Christian Kwyas] is a great sales man. It was (will be) a memorable shopping experience. However Christian should be thankful to [Jeff Keller]'s very useful reviews at [Digital Camera Resource Page]
I want to buy a [Digital Camera]. [Canon PowerShot A20|http://www.dcresource.com/reviews/canon/a20-review/index.html] is on the top of my list... [Jeff Keller] states ...As always, I recommend a trip to your local camera store to try out the /camera/ and its competitors before you buy!... Do you have any recommendations ?
Our [QuickCam] order was fulfilled yesterday... Checkout our [Webcam]
We were at [Weihnachtsmarkt Mannheim|http://www.weihnachtsmarkt-mannheim.de/] yesterday
On Saturday, Dinner at [Innsbruck]
Weblog2002January
[Pongal] festival is celebrated on 14th this year. This is the day on which the sun begins to move northwards (also called Makara Shankranti). For Tamilians, Makara Shankranti ushers in the New Year. The corn that is newly-harvested is cooked for the first time on that day. Joyous festivities mark the celebration in every home.
[Mattu Pongal] : "...According to a legend, once Shiva asked his bull, Basava, to go to the earth and ask the mortals to have an oil massage and bath every day and to eat once a month. Inadvertently, Basava announced that everyone should eat daily and have an oil bath once a month. - - - This mistake enraged Shiva who then cursed Basava, banishing him to live on the earth forever. He would have to plough the fields and help people produce more food. Thus the association of this day with cattle. - - - A festival called [Jallikattu] is held in [Madurai], Tiruchirapalli and Tanjavur on this day..."
From an story by [Anthony de Mello] : "[Holiness] today is a [name] without a
[John Dingell] (after he was [forced to strip!|http://www.newsday.com/news/politics/wire/sns-ap-congressman-searched0108jan08.story]) "I asked Norman to check to see if they treated me like they do everybody else," Dingell said. "I just wanted to be sure that what they did was necessary, that I got the same treatment, no better or no worse, than anyone else."
[Joel Spolsky] [:|http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/fog0000000339.html] "Sometimes I just can't get anything done......Many of my days go like this: (1) get into work (2) check email, read the web, etc. (3) decide that I might as well have lunch
Wendell Berry has written [Why I am Not Going to Buy a Computer]
[Sarvottam] [:|http://www.livejournal.com/users/sarvottam/day/2002/01/04] [Good News India]
[Henry Miller] : Every day we slaughter our finest impulses. That is why we get a heart-ache when we read those lines written by the hand of a master and recognize them as our own, as the tender shoots which we stifled because we lacked the faith to believe in our own powers, our own criterion of truth and beauty. Every man, when he gets quiet, when he becomes desperately honest with himself, is capable of uttering profound truths. We all derive from the same source. There is no mystery about the origin of things. We are all part of creation, all kings, all poets, all musicians; we have only to open up, to discover what is already there.
[Ahimsa] is word of the day
[Alan Kay] is enraptured by the potential impact that computing technology can have on the world. He is especially interested in education and hopes that this new technology will create, what he calls, a "skeptical man." He likens the personal computer to the present day book and believes that if everyone had access to a computer, people would be more prone to play "what-if" games with information. He says that "the [information] retrieval systems of the future are not going to retrieve facts but points of view. The weakness of databases is that they let you retrieve facts, while the strength of our culture over the past several hundred years has been our ability to take on multiple points of view. It should be possible for every kid everywhere to test what he or she is being told either against arguments of others or by appeal to computer simulation. The question is: will society nurture that potential or suppress it?"
To [People] I have come across on the web: I would love to spend my days reading all that you write... But there is not enough time in my days to do that after time invested in occupations to make [Money] flow to my bank account! So I setup a [Portal]
[Any Given Sunday]
[Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach] : I regret nothing says arrogance - I will regret nothing says inexperience
[Mahesh Shantaram] [:|http://www.livejournal.com/users/msram/day/2001/12/10] ...We want to achieve all our goals. We want to make all our dreams comes true......Where's the money?...
mmm... Is anyone researching "What is the average number of days before everyone writes 2002 instead of 2001" !
The University of Hard Knocks
midnight of the last day of the month of any such announcement.
Midnight, Central Time, of the last day of the stated month. A
sending a request within 30 days of receiving it to the person
If you discover a Defect in this etext within 90 days of
Benedictine College" within the 60 days following each
life--Most "advantages" are disadvantages--Buying education for
nothing--The fiddle and the tuning--How we know things--Trimmed at
but stop--Few go on south--The plague of incompetents--Today our
best day, tomorrow to be better--Birthdays are promotions--I am
worst days, not best--Waiting for the second table--Better days on
Each day we rise to larger vision--Getting above the night into
the eternal day--Going south is going upward
Some warm September day I would pull the plug from the barrel and
cold winter day I would pull the plug, but the sorghum would not
greatest stream. With no bucket you can get nothing at Niagara.
the next person says he got nothing out of it.
But I am happy today that I have traveled a little farther. I am
That day they had the little joy and sunshine of the family in his
And that day when I wanted the coffee-pot--I did want it. Nobody
Why don't mothers knit today?
The other day I watched a blind man go down the aisle of the car to
things day after day and wonder why you have so much `bad luck'!"
for nothing. They must be led--sometimes driven--by minorities.
seeking happiness where nobody ever found happiness. Their days
How the old devil works day and night to keep people amused and
You were bumped yesterday or years ago. Maybe the wound has not yet
was darkened, your plans were wrecked, you thought you had nothing
You got your lessons, combed your hair, went to Sunday school and
pieces and hammered you day by day.
One day I was up the Missabe road about a hundred miles north of
had everything that money could buy. But her money seemed unable to
buy the frown from her face.
Think of what might happen to you today. Your home might burn. We
One day the train stopped at a station to take water. Beside the
until that day on the train that the groceryman does not put the
When things find their place, you can shake on till doomsday, but
In order to stay the same size he must grow enough each day to supply
time they had been there. Nothing ever escaped her. She had become
The barrel did the rest. Today she is giving orders to all of them,
was nothing fair about it. Jennie ought to have been made
The other day in a paper-mill I was standing beside a long machine
don't know nothing about it, boss, I don't work in there."
nothing about it, I never worked in there." I asked him about the
pulpmill. He replied, "No, I don't know nothing about that,
doing pretty much the same things over and over. Every day we
routine of life must every day flash a new attractiveness. We must
things in the same way day after day, thinking the same thoughts,
time pointing backward with pride and talking about "in my day!"
For it is mostly rattle. The live one's "my day" is today and
tomorrow. The dead one's is yesterday.
We can be a mushroom in a day, with the accent on the "mush." But
beggar sitting at the gate Beautiful. Every day the beggar had been
"helped." Every day as they laid him at the gate people would pass
And so every day that beggar got to be more of a beggar. The public
hopeless cripple. No doubt he belonged after a few days of the
times a day. We need oculists, not opportunities.
a day. I rattled there. I did not earn my dollar fifteen. I tried
other people? He wants something for nothing.
Today you and I have things we couldn't have yesterday. We just
wanted them yesterday. O, how we wanted them! But a cruel fate
would not let us have them. Today we have them. They come to us as
naturally today, and we see it is because we have grown ready for
Today you and I want things beyond our reach. O, how we want them!
today all we can stand today. More would wreck us. More would start
We cannot buy a great arm. Our arm must become a great servant, and
We cannot buy a great mind. Our mind must become a great servant,
We cannot buy a great character. It is earned in great moral
the Sunday school. He was the storm-center of every altruistic
serviceable, tho he worked every day full time with his pick at his
Chicago on Sundays to thousands. He writes books and runs a college
uplift movements that his name gets into the papers about every day,
were doing nothing. In every town he would discover somebody of
So this Chicago preacher was busy every day, working overtime on
for himself, but every day he was trying to make an investment in
education our money can buy."
"We are going to give our children the best education our money can buy."
They think they can buy an education--buy wisdom, strength and
will buy any brand they see--buy the home brand of education, or
Father and mother cannot buy their children education. All they can
do is to buy them some tools, perhaps, and open the gate and say,
A father and mother might as well say, "We will buy our children
The hands lived in the little dirty houses and worked six days of
nothing. He had become rich and honored. Every man in the mill
education my money can buy."
He began to buy it. He began to polish and sandpaper Gussie from
the baggage-car. It was checked. The mill shut down on a week day,
A few years later the mill shut down again on a week day. There was
So the mill was shut down the third time on a week day. It looked
day. But he seemed to fatten on bumps. Every time he was bumped he
tragedy of our American civilization today.
his house where he could watch it develop. One day he saw a little
somewhere. Just work that gets us three meals a day and a place to
lie down to sleep, then another day of the same grind, then a year
junkpile, means little. "One day nearer home" for such a worker
means one day nearer the scrapheap.
the sorghum mill. Round and round that horse went, seeing nothing,
hearing nothing, his head down, without ambition enough to prick up
One time I put some turkey eggs under the mother hen and waited day
by day for them to hatch. And sure enough, one day the eggs began
the undertaker. I am an editor in the daytime and a lecturer at
I edit all day and take a vacation lecturing at night. I lecture
almost every day of the year--maybe two or three times some
days--and then take a vacation by editing and writing. Thus every
day is jam full of play and vacation and good times. The year is
You see, I have no time nowadays to break down. I have no time to
for these places keep just what the people want to buy. What a lot
We have to have amusement, but if we fill our lives with nothing
Almost every day as I go along the street to some hall to lecture,
works day and night shifts keeping the crowd moving on.
is the worst kind of soil impoverishment--all going out and nothing
The slogan today should be, For God and Home and the Home Town!
I believe the most useful schools today are schools of struggle
We are trying a new educational experiment today.
teacher, as in the old days of the lyceum in Athens, when the
Today we are building wonderful public schools with equally
wonderful equipment. Today we are replacing the many small colleges
equipment and maintenance. Today we scour the earth for specialists
this day! Many of them never saw a germ!
assimilation today as then. Knowing and growing demand the same
learning one sentence, "You can't get something for nothing." I
have not yet learned it. Every few days I stumble over it
One day a manufacturer took me thru his factory where he makes
"You Can't Get Something for Nothing"
get something for nothing." That is, getting it in partial tune. It
That sentence takes me back to the days when I was a "hired man" on
Learn? No! Within a month I was on the street a Saturday night when
buy because I knew the minister was honest and believed in it. He
had no imagination! Nothing interested me that did not offer fifty
I waited till next day. I sat up all night in a day coach to save
It is worth eleven hundred dollars every day to know that one
sentence, You cannot get something for nothing. Life just begins to
get juicy when you know it. Today when I open a newspaper and see
Today when somebody offers me much more than the legal rate of
Today when I get a confidential letter that starts out, "You have
You can't get something for nothing. If you do not learn it, you
a mirror for six weeks, day by day, and said the sermon to the
Then came the grand day. The boy wonder stood forth and before his
it was in me. But I certainly got it all out that day!
Jessie was singing the other day at a chautauqua. She has a
meal a day and didn't know where the next meal was coming from. I
The woman was Carrie Jacobs-Bond, who wrote "The Perfect Day,"
she is today. Her defeats were her victories. If Carrie Jacobs-Bond
around me in the affairs of everyday life, that none of us will
ideas must be forged into usefulness available for this day upon
A good many of you were bumped today or yesterday, or maybe years
horizon. You will say, "God, let me die. I have nothing more
several miles into the country those old reaper days and gathered
That "Last Day of School"
I walked thirteen miles a day, six and a half miles each way, most of
old back-country "last day of school exhibition"? The people that
day came from all over the township. They were so glad our school
literature that day. Execute is the word that tells what happened
to literature in District No. 1, Jackson Township, that day. I can
the Legion lay dying in Algiers." We had him die again that day,
got up before that "last day of school" audience and opened my
mouth, it was a great opening, but nothing came out. It came out of
Next day I drew my money. I had it all in one joyous wad--$240. I
thirteen-mile-a-day dollars to learn one thing I could not learn
these twenty-one years, for I could not then afford to buy one. The
As commencement day approached, the committee of the class
today.
He'll be President of the United States some day, and you'll be in
irish lass who became an "old maid." She had worked day by day all
chain him to the bench and to the oar. There follow the days and
long years when he pulls on the oar under the lash. Day after day
he pulls on the oar. Day after day he writhes under the sting of
The Mississippi knows nothing about the Gulf of Mexico. He does not
goes on south. He picks up another stream and grows some more. Day
by day he picks up streamlets, brooklets, rivulets. Business is
every day in flowing and growing. The Mississippi is a success in
each day. I wish I could write it over the pulpits, over the
if you are contented to do today just what you did yesterday.
Contented to think today what you thought yesterday.
This Is Our Best Day
We say, "I've seen my best days." And the undertaker goes and
Go on south! We have not seen our best days. This is the best day
eternal youth. It is the one who stops who "ages rapidly." Each day
We have left nothing behind but the husks. I would not trade this
Birthdays and Headmarks
Yesterday I had a birthday. I looked in the glass and communed with
I am happy today as I look back over my life. I have been trying to
go on south shivering about yesterday. These years I have noticed
Birthdays are not annual affairs. Birthdays are the days when we
have a new birth. The days when we go on south to larger visions.
I wish I could have a birthday every minute!
few birthdays. Some people spin up to Methuselahs in a few years.
The more birthdays we have, the nearer we approach eternal youth!
years are nothing to me."
multitudes in his employ. He was an ardent Odd Fellow, and one day
You would laugh at it today. It had a tinfoil cylinder, it
screeched and stuttered. You would not have it in your barn today
other day, and she wrote me that the great inventor showed her one
the face of seven thousand failures. Today he brings forth a
Imagine Moses living today amidst the din of the high school
Thursday. They get ready the resolutions of respect--
to General Moses' private office. It is his busy day. They have to
is to be next Thursday. Kindly die."
I see Moses look over his appointments. "Next Thursday?
Why, boys, every hour is taken next Thursday. I simply cannot
attend my funeral next Thursday."
attend next Thursday?" And Moses says, "No, boys, you'll just have
They say, "Only a few more days of trouble, only a few more
child and I'm not happy now. Them was the best days of my life
childhood's palmy days."
palmy days. And the palm!
"quart'ly meeting day." We always had a big dinner on "quart'ly
meeting day." Elder Berry would stay for dinner. His name was
meeting" day. I would watch the jelly tremble. Did you ever see
you are seeing the best days of your life right now as a child."
The dear old liar! I was seeing the worst days of my life. If there
and today is the best day of all. Go on south!
Seeing your best days as a child? No! You are seeing your worst
days. Of course, you can be happy as a child. A boy can be happy
I am not worried today over what I do not know. I used to be
today it is such a relief to look people in the face and say,
But some day I shall know! I patiently wait for the answer. Every
day brings the answer to something I could not answer yesterday.
The Mississippi blesses the valley every day as he goes on south
Day by day the Father of Waters goes on south, taking them over and
purifying them and making them a part of himself. Nothing can
But because the Mississippi does these things, one day the train I
The Mississippi knows nothing about the gulf. He goes on south
tho nothing had happened. So he pushes his physical banks on south
commencement day with your diplomas in your hands, and when your
why I was living. I thought I had nothing more to live for. When a
That is why I climbed Mount Lowe that day. I wanted to get alone.
the nails. He may wonder if the man was working by the day or by the job!
lived. On a pure, clear day one looks down this sixty-one hundred
the clouds of trouble today, BUT THE SUN IS SHINING!
matter how black and sunless today, when I have struggled on up the
Each day as I go up the mountain I get a larger vision. The miles
upon them from higher up. Each day as I look back I see more
Today I look back to the bump that sent me up Mount Lowe. I did not
Late that day I was clambering down the side of Mount Lowe. Down in
day on the mountain top!
showed the way that dark day. There I heard the "sermons in stones."
Some day my night will come. It will spread over all this valley of
shall be in the new day of the mountain-top, forever above the night.
This will be another Commencement Day and Master's Degree. Infinite
ought to buy them by the gross and send them to their friends."
ought to be read today and tomorrow and forevermore every
You Can't Get Something for Nothing
Employers in every line of business are buying quantities of "It's
one of the great stories of the day."
LifeWithoutPrinciple
This world is a place of business. What an infinite bustle! I am awaked almost every night by the panting of the locomotive. It interrupts my dreams. There is no sabbath. It would be glorious to see mankind at leisure for once. It is nothing but work, work, work. I cannot easily buy a blank-book to write thoughts in; they are commonly ruled for dollars and cents. An Irishman, seeing me making a minute in the fields, took it for granted that I was calculating my wages. If a man was tossed out of a window when an infant, and so made a cripple for life, or seared out of his wits by the Indians, it is regretted chiefly because he was thus incapacitated for business! I think that there is nothing, not even crime, more opposed to poetry, to philosophy, ay, to life itself, than this incessant business.
If a man walk in the woods for love of them half of each day, he is in danger of being regarded as a loafer; but if he spends his whole day as a speculator, shearing off those woods and making earth bald before her time, he is esteemed an industrious and enterprising citizen. As if a town had no interest in its forests but to cut them down!
Most men would feel insulted if it were proposed to employ them in throwing stones over a wall, and then in throwing them back, merely that they might earn their wages. But many are no more worthily employed now. For instance: just after sunrise, one summer morning, I noticed one of my neighbors walking beside his team, which was slowly drawing a heavy hewn stone swung under the axle, surrounded by an atmosphere of industry- his day's work begun- his brow commenced to sweat- a reproach to all sluggards and idlers- pausing abreast the shoulders of his oxen, and half turning round with a flourish of his merciful whip, while they gained their length on him. And I thought, Such is the labor which the American Congress exists to protect- honest, manly toil- honest as the day is long- that makes his bread taste sweet, and keeps society sweet- which all men respect and have consecrated; one of the sacred band, doing the needful but irksome drudgery. Indeed, I felt a slight reproach, because I observed this from a window, and was not abroad and stirring about a similar business. The day went by, and at evening I passed the yard of another neighbor, who keeps many servants, and spends much money foolishly, while he adds nothing to the common stock, and there I saw the stone of the morning lying beside a whimsical structure intended to adorn this Lord Timothy Dexter's premises, and the dignity forthwith departed from the teamster's labor, in my eyes. In my opinion, the sun was made to light worthier toil than this. I may add that his employer has since run off, in debt to a good part of the town, and, after passing through Chancery, has settled somewhere else, there to become once more a patron of the arts.
It is remarkable that there are few men so well employed, so much to their minds, but that a little money or fame would commonly buy them off from their present pursuit. I see advertisements for active young men, as if activity were the whole of a young man's capital. Yet I have been surprised when one has with confidence proposed to me, a grown man, to embark in some enterprise of his, as if I had absolutely nothing to do, my life having been a complete failure hitherto. What a doubtful compliment this to pay me! As if he had met me half-way across the ocean beating up against the wind, but bound nowhere, and proposed to me to go along with him! If I did, what do you think the underwriters would say? No, no! I am not without employment at this stage of the voyage. To tell the truth, I saw an advertisement for able-bodied seamen, when I was a boy, sauntering in my native port, and as soon as I came of age I embarked.
Perhaps I am more than usually jealous with respect to my freedom. I feel that my connection with and obligation to society are still very slight and transient. Those slight labors which afford me a livelihood, and by which it is allowed that I am to some extent serviceable to my contemporaries, are as yet commonly a pleasure to me, and I am not often reminded that they are a necessity. So far I am successful. But I foresee that if my wants should be much increased, the labor required to supply them would become a drudgery. If I should sell both my forenoons and afternoons to society, as most appear to do, I am sure that for me there would be nothing left worth living for. I trust that I shall never thus sell my birthright for a mess of pottage. I wish to suggest that a man may be very industrious, and yet not spend his time well. There is no more fatal blunderer than he who consumes the greater part of his life getting his living. All great enterprises are self-supporting. The poet, for instance, must sustain his body by his poetry, as a steam planing-mill feeds its boilers with the shavings it makes. You must get your living by loving. But as it is said of the merchants that ninety-seven in a hundred fail, so the life of men generally, tried by this standard, is a failure, and bankruptcy may be surely prophesied.
Merely to come into the world the heir of a fortune is not to be born, but to be still-born, rather. To be supported by the charity of friends, or a government pension- provided you continue to breathe- by whatever fine synonyms you describe these relations, is to go into the almshouse. On Sundays the poor debtor goes to church to take an account of stock, and finds, of course, that his outgoes have been greater than his income. In the Catholic Church, especially, they go into chancery, make a clean confession, give up all, and think to start again. Thus men will lie on their backs, talking about the fall of man, and never make an effort to get up.
It is remarkable that there is little or nothing to be remembered written on the subject of getting a living; how to make getting a living not merely holiest and honorable, but altogether inviting and glorious; for if getting a living is not so, then living is not. One would think, from looking at literature, that this question had never disturbed a solitary individual's musings. Is it that men are too much disgusted with their experience to speak of it? The lesson of value which money teaches, which the Author of the Universe has taken so much pains to teach us, we are inclined to skip altogether. As for the means of living, it is wonderful how indifferent men of all classes are about it, even reformers, so called- whether they inherit, or earn, or steal it. I think that Society has done nothing for us in this respect, or at least has undone what she has done. Cold and hunger seem more friendly to my nature than those methods which men have adopted and advise to ward them off.
The gold-digger in the ravines of the mountains is as much a gambler as his fellow in the saloons of San Francisco. What difference does it make whether you shake dirt or shake dice? If you win, society is the loser. The gold-digger is the enemy of the honest laborer, whatever checks and compensations there may be. It is not enough to tell me that you worked hard to get your gold. So does the Devil work hard. The way of transgressors may be hard in many respects. The humblest observer who goes to the mines sees and says that gold-digging is of the character of a lottery; the gold thus obtained is not the same same thing with the wages of honest toil. But, practically, he forgets what he has seen, for he has seen only the fact, not the principle, and goes into trade there, that is, buys a ticket in what commonly proves another lottery, where the fact is not so obvious.
After reading Howitt's account of the Australian gold-diggings one evening, I had in my mind's eye, all night, the numerous valleys, with their streams, all cut up with foul pits, from ten to one hundred feet deep, and half a dozen feet across, as close as they can be dug, and partly filled with water- the locality to which men furiously rush to probe for their fortunes- uncertain where they shall break ground- not knowing but the gold is under their camp itself- sometimes digging one hundred and sixty feet before they strike the vein, or then missing it by a foot- turned into demons, and regardless of each others' rights, in their thirst for riches- whole valleys, for thirty miles, suddenly honeycombed by the pits of the miners, so that even hundreds are drowned in them- standing in water, and covered with mud and clay, they work night and day, dying of exposure and disease. Having read this, and partly forgotten it, I was thinking, accidentally, of my own unsatisfactory life, doing as others do; and with that vision of the diggings still before me, I asked myself why I might not be washing some gold daily, though it were only the finest particles- why I might not sink a shaft down to the gold within me, and work that mine. There is a Ballarat, a Bendigo for you- what though it were a sulky-gully? At any rate, I might pursue some path, however solitary and narrow and crooked, in which I could walk with love and reverence. Wherever a man separates from the multitude, and goes his own way in this mood, there indeed is a fork in the road, though ordinary travellers may see only a gap in the paling. His solitary path across lots will turn out the higher way of the two.
That excitement about Kossuth, consider how characteristic, but superficial, it was!- only another kind of politics or dancing. Men were making speeches to him all over the country, but each expressed only the thought, or the want of thought, of the multitude. No man stood on truth. They were merely banded together, as usual one leaning on another, and all together on nothing; as the Hindoos made the world rest on an elephant, the elephant on a tortoise, and the tortoise on a serpent, and had nothing to put under the serpent. For all fruit of that stir we have the Kossuth hat.
I do not know but it is too much to read one newspaper a week. I have tried it recently, and for so long it seems to me that I have not dwelt in my native region. The sun, the clouds, the snow, the trees say not so much to me. You cannot serve two masters. It requires more than a day's devotion to know and to possess the wealth of a day.
We may well be ashamed to tell what things we have read or heard in our day. I did not know why my news should be so trivial- considering what one's dreams and expectations are, why the developments should be so paltry. The news we hear, for the most part, is not news to our genius. It is the stalest repetition. You are often tempted to ask why such stress is laid on a particular experience which you have had- that, after twenty-five years, you should meet Hobbins, Registrar of Deeds, again on the sidewalk. Have you not budged an inch, then? Such is the daily news. Its facts appear to float in the atmosphere, insignificant as the sporules of fungi, and impinge on some neglected thallus, or surface of our minds, which affords a basis for them, and hence a parasitic growth. We should wash ourselves clean of such news. Of what consequence, though our planet explode, if there is no character involved in the explosion? In health we have not the least curiosity about such events. We do not live for idle amusement. I would not run round a corner to see the world blow up.
All summer, and far into the autumn, perchance, you unconsciously went by the newspapers and the news, and now you find it was because the morning and the evening were full of news to you. Your walks were full of incidents. You attended, not to the affairs of Europe, but to your own affairs in Massachusetts fields. If you chance to live and move and have your being in that thin stratum in which the events that make the news transpire- thinner than the paper on which it is printed- then these things will fill the world for you; but if you soar above or dive below that plane, you cannot remember nor be reminded of them. Really to see the sun rise or go down every day, so to relate ourselves to a universal fact, would preserve us sane forever. Nations! What are nations? Tartars, and Huns, and Chinamen! Like insects, they swarm. The historian strives in vain to make them memorable. It is for want of a man that there are so many men. It is individuals that populate the world. Any man thinking may say with the Spirit of Lodin-
So is the English Parliament provincial. Mere country bumpkins, they betray themselves, when any more important question arises for them to settle, the Irish question, for instance- the English question why did I not say? Their natures are subdued to what they work in. Their "good breeding" respects only secondary objects. The finest manners in the world are awkwardness and fatuity when contrasted with a finer intelligence. They appear but as the fashions of past days- mere courtliness, knee-buckles and small-clothes, out of date. It is the vice, but not the excellence of manners, that they are continually being deserted by the character; they are cast-off-clothes or shells, claiming the respect which belonged to the living creature. You are presented with the shells instead of the meat, and it is no excuse generally, that, in the case of some fishes, the shells are of more worth than the meat. The man who thrusts his manners upon me does as if he were to insist on introducing me to his cabinet of curiosities, when I wished to see himself. It was not in this sense that the poet Decker called Christ "the first true gentleman that ever breathed." I repeat that in this sense the most splendid court in Christendom is provincial, having authority to consult about Transalpine interests only, and not the affairs of Rome. A praetor or proconsul would suffice to settle the questions which absorb the attention of the English Parliament and the American Congress.
Government and legislation! these I thought were respectable professions. We have heard of heaven-born Numas, Lycurguses, and Solons, in the history of the world, whose names at least may stand for ideal legislators; but think of legislating to regulate the breeding of slaves, or the exportation of tobacco! What have divine legislators to do with the exportation or the importation of tobacco? what humane ones with the breeding of slaves? Suppose you were to submit the question to any son of God- and has He no children in the Nineteenth Century? is it a family which is extinct?- in what condition would you get it again? What shall a State like Virginia say for itself at the last day, in which these have been the principal, the staple productions? What ground is there for patriotism in such a State? I derive my facts from statistical tables which the States themselves have published.
A commerce that whitens every sea in quest of nuts and raisins, and makes slaves of its sailors for this purpose! I saw, the other day, a vessel which had been wrecked, and many lives lost, and her cargo of rags, juniper berries, and bitter almonds were strewn along the shore. It seemed hardly worth the while to tempt the dangers of the sea between Leghorn and New York for the sake of a cargo of juniper berries and bitter almonds. America sending to the Old World for her bitters! Is not the sea-brine, is not shipwreck, bitter enough to make the cup of life go down here? Yet such, to a great extent, is our boasted commerce; and there are those who style themselves statesmen and philosophers who are so blind as to think that progress and civilization depend on precisely this kind of interchange and activity- the activity of flies about a molasses- hogshead. Very well, observes one, if men were oysters. And very well, answer I, if men were mosquitoes.
What is called politics is comparatively something so superficial and inhuman, that practically I have never fairly recognized that it concerns me at all. The newspapers, I perceive, devote some of their columns specially to politics or government without charge; and this, one would say, is all that saves it; but as I love literature and to some extent the truth also, I never read those columns at any rate. I do not wish to blunt my sense of right so much. I have not got to answer for having read a single President's Message. A strange age of the world this, when empires, kingdoms, and republics come a-begging to a private man's door, and utter their complaints at his elbow! I cannot take up a newspaper but I find that some wretched government or other, hard pushed and on its last legs, is interceding with me, the reader, to vote for it- more importunate than an Italian beggar; and if I have a mind to look at its certificate, made, perchance, by some benevolent merchant's clerk, or the skipper that brought it over, for it cannot speak a word of English itself, I shall probably read of the eruption of some Vesuvius, or the overflowing of some Po, true or forged, which brought it into this condition. I do not hesitate, in such a case, to suggest work, or the almshouse; or why not keep its castle in silence, as I do commonly? The poor President, what with preserving his popularity and doing his duty, is completely bewildered. The newspapers are the ruling power. Any other government is reduced to a few marines at Fort Independence. If a man neglects to read the Daily Times, government will go down on its knees to him, for this is the only treason in these days.

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