Monday, February 4, 2019

Some answers from this site over the years to the question: "Where does this particular SWNE way of life go in the 21st century with the next generation?"


From thoughts expressed here over the years, personal actions can include:
  • Align private and public behavior.
  • Be an environmentalist.
  • Spend as much time as possible with people who are better than you.
  • Buy hard, wear easy; own less, but great.  Buy high quality staples.  Make your retail purchases count.  Be suspicious of deep discounts. Avoid knock-offs of authentic garments.
  • Minimize buying the things that you would find in a box store.
  • The goal is to be your best self, not someone else.
  • Be frugal, not cheap.
  • Don't water down your belongings, friends, diet, or time with a lot of filler.
  • Boring is underrated.
  • Value decency and dignity.  Be around people who take their work and mission seriously, but not themselves.  
  • Work with and in moral institutions, and that have a mission in which you believe.  Avoid those institutions that pretend to still be moral but are not anymore.  
  • Be intolerant of people who are vulgar or dishonest. Virtue signaling is a warning.
  • Embrace your culture’s greatest minds and artists. 
  • Pay for news.  And avoid sites that steal photographs from others.  
  • Don’t know about things that are over-hyped. 
  • Don't take the things you value the most - such as family, health, friends, community, air and water, country - for granted.
  • Have the best rooms in your house or apartment/flat be where you do your work.
  • Make count any travel, eating out, and spontaneous purchases. 
  • Spend a bit of time at consignment shops, estate sales, and thrift shops.  Learn, but have a very high threshold for what you buy.
  • Copying the style of other people is fine in your teens, but not much past that. 
  • Listen to podcasts. Some of the greatest thinkers today are there. 
  • Know people of all ages.
  • Embrace a bit of hardship, such as cold showers, no desserts, and some toil.
  • Help people you know.  (So often saying "thoughts and prayers" without actually doing anything is the equivalent of saying "I know you need help, but I am not going to give you any.")
  • Regularly, carefully get rid of things you don’t want anymore.  Find them good homes. 

28 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing this list. What podcasts do you and your readers recommend?

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    1. Some of my favorite include Hidden Brain, Planet Money, 99% Invisible, This American Life, RadioLab, and Freakonomics Radio

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    2. Alan Alda does one that's very thoughtful and smart. I also like Alec Baldwin's and Paula Poundstone's is so fun.

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  2. Fantastic list! I love the mention about cold showers. Nothing wakes me up more than a cold burst of H20 in the morning! After that, I feel like I can tackle anything the day throws at me.

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    1. My grandmother did this. Born in 1894, she lived until 1996. Cold showers? Who knows.

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  3. Great list with many thought-provoking items. Not enough about culture, though -- art, literature, history, drama, music -- which surely is the lifeblood of any civilization. Nor enough about piety, or, if you like, spirituality.

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  4. I have a dear friend; a hard working, successful farmer, who happens to be one of the wisest men I've ever known and who always seems to sense when I'm ready to receive a bit of his wisdom. He refers to these seldom shared bits as "diamonds". There are certainly diamonds here.

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  5. Great lessons to start a Monday - many thanks!

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  6. Faith and prayer?

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  7. Faith and prayer put into action, yes! "Let your life speak."

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  8. I'm the one that asked this question and appreciate all the advice from readers. Glad we got to discuss. I do think it is challenging to embrace some of these ideals when there isn't a similar community in the demographic. I also was curious to hear how people changed over the years in regards to this topic- in other words, to what extent were you different in your youth? Was there a period where your outlook on life was different, or did you always embrace the expressed values in the post/comments?

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    1. I can tell you that, as a young adult, I was much more shallow and concerned with the superficial and my “image.” As a sixty-year-old, I try to focus on living a life of integrity.

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    2. There are so many wonderful comments. To address your question above about how I've changed: The values that I express today are the same values that my family taught me and that I have always lived by. However, when I was young ( 20's), I didn't appreciate those values as I do today and as a rebel teenager, often complained that my family was too stuffy or righteous. They were not at all. I believe that as I began to expand my world and experience, I realized just how precious and rare those values are to find in others. I took for granted that most humans were raised on the same core values, morals and principles that I was but the reality is -especially today in such a desperate, greedy, impulsive and self-serving society, they are not. As you say, finding that 'similar community' is very challenging. I don't believe that I'm experiencing the typical 'generational' divide felt by my parents and grandparents but in my opinion, more of a cultural degradation and I fear that the long term consequences will prove to be quite destructive to society. There isn't a day that goes by that I'm not reminded how fortunate I am to have had the family that I did. It's not easy to live with integrity. If it was, everyone would be doing it, right?

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  9. What a great list! There are many truths to them

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  10. This is an interesting list and I gree with much of it except: 'Spend as much time as possible with people who are better than you' Perhaps I don't understand this statement. It reminds me of the expression often heard - 'ordinary people'. In 1953 a beekeeper became the first man to stand on top of Everest afterwards establishing the Himalayan Trust to help the Sherpa people. Despite multiple awards he remained humble and true to his Kiwi roots. How ordinary was he and who should he spend time with ?

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    1. I believe what was meant is that we should always keep people in our life that challenge us to become wiser, more educated, more skilled, etc... It's all too easy to become too comfortable in our every day flock.

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  11. "cold showers, no desserts" - Lol, nope!

    Regards "Boring is underrated": Approximately one million years ago, when we were young, my now husband, then single guy, was touted to a friend as a possible date - her response, "no thanks, he's boring."

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    1. I agree! Hot showers and dessert are part of the pleasures of life. Provided the dessert is one of excellent quality.

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  12. "There isn't a day that goes by that I'm not reminded how fortunate I am to have had the family that I did."

    Agreed! And thank goodness they taught me basic table manners (among many other important skills, ideas, and approaches to life), quite a few of which are on the list above. Not perfect by any stretch, but when I look around at what seems somehow to have become the norm, the average, the new ideal, and is somehow now considered acceptable by the vast majority, I realize how lucky I have been.

    -- Heinz-Ulrich

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  13. To go along with "Help people you know". I'm not sure if George Steinbrenner was the first to say this but I've always heard it attributed to him."If you help someone and have to tell a third party, you've done it for the wrong reason"

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    1. "Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven."

      Matthew 6:1

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  14. Consider researching your family ancestry. While most of us know who our grandparents were and where they came from, many of us don’t know the lines of our paternal and maternal ancestry before them. I am recently retired and decided to do this not only for myself but for our children to know from whom and whence we came. I started with a DNA test from 23 & Me. Discovering scientifically that my ancestry was divided approximately 50% Scandinavian and 50% Western European (Britain & Ireland) was not too surprising and confirmed what I thought. Armed with this info I subscribed to the Family Search website (an LDS genealogical database, which is free) and traced my father’s ancestry in America to Jamestown, VA in the mid 1600’s and to England from where they emigrated. My fathers mother’s family arrived in Plymouth, MA in the early 1700’s, also from England. My mother’s ancestry was a bit easier but less detail since her mother and father both emigrated to America in the early 1900’s. This endeavor has been both fun and rewarding in many ways. My point in writing this is that to know who you are today and who you should aspire to be should be a reflection of those who came before. So please consider finding out from whom and whence you came. I believe you will be happy that you did

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    1. I researched my ancestry for a while a few years back and it was certainly interesting. No real surprises but the branches of my family tree intertwined a couple of times when second or third cousins married. There has already been a lot published on the internet but it should be used cautiously. Although not often incorrect, there can still be a lot of gaps in the information, with some of the children missing from the lists of offspring. And they tended to have big families.

      My wife, on the other hand, already knew most of her family history. She is in Burke's Presidential Families.

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  15. Maybe add one more.

    Never do or say anything you may have to apologize for 30 years later.

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  16. As is attributed to St. Francis of Assissi, "Preach the Gospel at all times and if necessary use words."

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  17. I appreciate the list of things to live up to and admire the lifestyle. This blog, and few other things, has caused me to aspire to high goals. Education is one of them. Singing a church choir and doing readings for the church is another. Long ago I learned that inexpensive goods are not worth the investment, 'better to get the best quality you can afford. Thank you for your inspirations. I hope I can inspire others to aim for higher goals.

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