Who and What is the Happy Warrior
This blog is a representation, in conversational form, of my voyage to wrap my arms around the world in which Mr. Worsdworth's warrior finds happiness.
(Standing disclaimer: Luckily tests of spelling accuracy ended in 4th grade otherwise I would still be in Elementary School. Be forewarned, spelling errors ahead. I subscribe to the wisdom of a great man who said, "I have utmost disdain for a man who can only spell a word one way." -Benjamin Franklin)
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Contrast this against another 13 year old young man. This boy is the son of a good friend who is one of the most accomplished people I personally know. He is an accomplished professional and, earlier in his life, was an collegiate All American tennis player. He achieved this status at a top tier university after walking on to the tennis team. His story of accomplishment is inspiration and I consider him the Rudy Rudiger of tennis. Now back to his son, who, last year tried out for his Jr. high cross country team. Two important facts about this young man: he is NOT built for long distance running and I am not confident that he knew that cross country inherantly also included the activity of running. After the first day of practice he went home exhausted and announced that he was quitting the team. His dad instructed him that quitting was not an option and that he would finish out the year. After this year he never had to run cross country again if he didn't want to. Well, needless to say, he finished the season, improved his times and learned some important lessons about himself and about life.
I've often told Mrs. Wicke that we have become the most mamby-pamby (unsure if this is a real word but it is a synonym for "pansy", "sissy" and the like) society in the history of the world. Our generation got the mistaken idea that life is easy, that it is fundamentally about fun and that our feelings somehow trump everything else in life. Humanity has evolved to this... to a self-absorbed, narcissistic, leisure oriented, obese, quitter? Well, I have some news: life is difficult. Anything of value takes work to obtain. The move value it has the harder it will be to obtain. Quitting is a short-cut to nowhere. Quitting is habit forming. Quitting is, perhaps, the most destructive personal habit we can develop. Once we quit one worthy, difficult or challenging endeavor it is easier to quit the next. So if a young man quits a sport (a recreationally based leisure activity), how can we expect him to act when college gets difficult, when a job becomes mundane, when missionary service is frought with adversity or when troubles infect his marriage. Becareful about allowing a young man to quit, it will quickly become his solution of choice.
Friday, January 22, 2010
1. It demonstrates that the people are still in charge of this government.
2. It illustrates the genius of the government established by our founding fathers (of checks and balances, of republican democracy, etc.).
3. It instructs us that we should give more honor and revernce to the system and principles of government established over 200 years ago.
4. It is a shot across the bow of every politician who arrogantly pursues their own political agenda, thinking they somehow know what is better for the common citizen.
5. It debunks the suggestion that Americans want government to play a more active role in their lives, that they want to be "taken care of" and that we want a more active socially progressive paternalistic state.
6. It sends a message to the government to start listening to the people.
7. The American people are not stupid, uninterested in matters of government or intimidated.
All of these points are much larger than Scott Brown and all of them apply equally to Democrats, Republicans or any other policial orientation.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
But this post is not about fish. It is, however, about the perfect storm I think we narrowly avoided. I am referencing the election of Scott Brown to the US Senate in Massachusettes. Like Mrs. Wicke and myself, I know there are many people who do not share the same view as I but in my opinion, unlike the shipmates on the fishing boat who were eventually and inevitably toppled by a monster Atlantic wave, we have survived the precarious torrent.
The political circumstances of the past year have been the culmination of several storm fronts that had been perculating for several years (a protracted war, an economic catastrophe, the super-majority obtained in the Senate and House and the ascendency of the most liberal-progressive to the Presidency). All of these combined and threatened to "fundamentally change" the United States political and social landscape. The potential effect was nothing less than a shift from a republican democracy to social dependency, political paternalism and financial fatalism. At the heart of this change is the relationship between the government and the citizen. Government powers would have increased and individual freedom would have decreased. Instead of the people dictating the bounds of governmental control, the government would be dictating the bounds of personal control and decision making. We would be exactly upside down from the principles established in 1776 and in 1787. And the worst part is that, we the people would have been complicit in this change (since we, in fact, voted for our agents of government).
And yet this transformation was averted. The clouds broke and a most unexpected thing happened in Massachusettes. Since Tuesday, many people have been estatic over this turn of events. In the next post I will describe why I think the election of a Republican to the Senate in a predominately Democratic state, at this particular time and in these unprecedented circumstances, is so important.
Monday, January 11, 2010
But, as usual, I digress from the real reason for my posting: Here is a traditional value that recently came alive in my day-to-day life:
Use It Up, Wear It Out, Make It Do or Do Without
This phrase is familiar to many of us but not practiced as much as it should be. In the present times of economic difficulty and uncertainty, it suggests a wise way of living. It qualifies, I suggest, as the first practical rule of environmental concern and eco-sensitivity. I don't know that we would have much need of carbon offsets, cap and trade legislation and other forms of secular indulgences if we would really adhere to this simple rule: Use It Up, Wear It Out, Make It Do or Do Without.
Here is a pictoral history of my latest sumbission to this traditional value:
So I finally took a trip to the department store and purchased a new pair (an emotionally difficult thing for me to do... I think Shakespear describes it thuslly: "parting with money brings such sweet sorrow")
Mrs. Wicke bought me a new pair of Docker shoes a few Christmas' ago. I didn't realize the shape they were in until I started to feel the ground through a hole in the bottom.... Oppps, I guess Mrs. Wicke was right about their ragged appearance.
I soothed my dissonance by convincing myself that the purchase was necessary for safety reasons. I'm sure you know the "tread depth" rule: if you put a penny in the tread and you can still see Lincoln's head then it is time to change:
Used up, wore out... bought a new pair. I know that is not exactly how the phrase goes, but Mrs. Wicke and my feet sure are a lot happier.
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
For now, here is a fantastic article to chew on: Contrary to Al Gore's claims, there are serious reasons (here is a list of 100 to be exact) for serious people to question the reality of man made, catastrophic climate change. Read here.