Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Living the Good Life

"Action has its advocates. Contemplation also has its adherents. The former tends to be exterior, peripheral or centrifugal; while the latter, by comparison, more inner, central and vital.

Perhaps we can summarize our point of view in this way. We are opposed to the theories of a competitive, acquisitive, aggressive social order, which butchers for food and murders for sport and power. The closer we have come to this social order the more completely we are a part of it. Since we reject it in theory, we should, for the most part, reject it also in practice. On no other basis can theory and practice be unified. At the same time, and to the utmost extent, we should live as decently, kindly, justly, orderly and efficiently as possible. Human beings, under any set of circumstances, can behave well or badly. Whatever the circumstances, it is better to love, create and construct than to hate, undermine and destroy, or, what may be even worse at times, ignore and laissez passer. We believed that we could make our contribution to the good life more effectively in a pre-industrial, rural community than in one of the great urban centers."

Excerpt from Living the Good Life - how to live sanely and simply in a troubled world by Helen & Scott Nearing (Schocken Books | NY - ©1954). Read more about the Nearings.

I picked up this book at a yard sale over the weekend...going to give it a read.

Photo credits:
Lost Lake, Mount Hood, OR - Karl Stephens © 2005
Helen & Scott Nearing, 1950 - Rebecca Lefkoff


Leah said...

light reading for the summer, tina? this sounds like a thinking read for sure. but, i am sure there are good things in there, so bravo to you!

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