19 June 2011

living with purpose

First off, happy Solstice! As usual, I've (obviously) failed to manage a holiday post. Luckily, I can keep trying. Camden and I didn't do much to "celebrate," but we did enjoy the summer, although it was fairly cool. He and I talked about the Oak and Holly Kings fighting, and the Holly King winning to lead our march toward Yule (where they'll fight again, with the Oak King as victor). We went to a local nature center to stare at some honey bees (a small inside hive (with a pipe leading outside) made of plexiglass so you can see the bees doing bee things. We also ogled a bull snake that was apparently not hungry, since it wasn't munching on the (live) mouse in its tank. Then we came home and grilled chicken for dinner. All in all, a fun day.

And on to the topic of the hour:

I've known about Transcendentalism since high school or junior high. But I only knew about it in the general sort of way. Last fall, in my AmeriLit class, I actually read the Transcendentalist authors; Whitman, Thoreau, Emerson. And I fell in love. Then, earlier this year, I was introduced to the term simple living, in reference to modern life, as opposed to "back in the day" simplicity. I think that if every one would strive to live simply, the world would be a better place. Less waste, more community. Less stress, more time. Less hate, more love. As a world-wide community (Western/modernized world, anyway), we have a consumerist and materialistic ethic. We want what we want (or what they want us to want), and we want it now. And to help us get this stuff we have to work long hours at jobs we may or may not enjoy. We want our children to want stuff too, so we help them "get ahead" by over-scheduling them.

That's not something I want from my life. I don't want the hectic schedule of work, soccer practice, music lessons, dinner at McDonald's, TV, bed, rinse and repeat. I want my life to be my own. I want my life to belong to me and my family, not to the world at large. A book that I am reading suggested making a purpose statement for one's family. Because part of living simply is living with purpose. And it's hard to live with a purpose that hasn't been defined. My purpose statement? (Rather: my family's purpose statement.)

Enjoy Life; Love Others.

That is the shortened version. Both are basic yet vital to my spiritual and religious beliefs. The (only slightly) lengthier version is:

Enjoy life by
-making our home a place of creativity, love and laughter
-living within our means
-being environmentally conscious
Love others by
-loving (family) unconditionally
-participating in community service
-having faith in god, nature, others, and one's self

I am sure that at some point this will change. Not greatly, maybe just a tweak here or there. But for now, it is enough.


  1. That is such a great philosophy! I wish that more people would wise up and realize that life is precious and all the better when lived genuinely. It isn't about what you have that makes life fulfilling, it's about filling your life - but so many get hung up on filling it with stuff, that they miss the gifts that we are surrounded with that cost nothing.


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