Remember Who You Are

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Keep It Loose

“Well I walked over the bridge
Into the city where I live,
And I saw my old landlord.
Well we both said hello,
There was no where else to go,
‘cuz his rent I couldn’t afford.”

“But sometimes,
We forget what we got,
Who we are.
Or who we are not.
I think we gotta chance,
To make it right.”

Amos Lee by Amos Lee

Some things you wanted

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And one final word from Santa on this lovely Christmas day:

“My dear people: there seem to get more and more of you every year. I get poorer and poorer: still I hope that I have managed to bring you all something you wanted, though not everything you asked for…”

Letters From Father Christmas by J.R.R. Tolkien

Santa and the Economy

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During the final12 days before Christmas, I am posting quotes from Santa’s letters – courtesy of JRR Tolkien. It’s a wonderful book and a grand idea. I wish I’d thought of it. 🙂

“We have both, the old Polar Bear and I, enjoyed having so many nice letters from you and your pets. If you think we have not read them you are wrong; but if you find that not many of the things you asked for have come, and not perhaps quite as many as sometimes, remember that this Christmas all over the world there are a terrible number of poor and starving people.”

“I (and also my Green Brother) have had to do some collecting of food and clothes, and toys too, for the children whose fathers and mothers and friends cannot give them anything, sometimes not even dinner. I know yours won’t forget you.”

Letters From Father Christmas by J.R.R. Tolkien

Thankful for Friendship

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“In a cave in the woods, in a warm bright lair, the friends feel grateful for their good friend bear. They pass around platters. They tweet and they chatter…and they all say thanks!”

Bear Says Thanks, written by Karma Wilson and Illustrated by Jane Chapman

The Magic of Deprivation

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I was beginning to appreciate that the central feature of life on the Appalachian Trail is deprivation, that the whole point of the experience is to remove yourself so thoroughly from the conveniences of everyday life that the most ordinary things—processed cheese, a can of pop gorgeously beaded with condensation—fill you with wonder and gratitude. It is an intoxicating experience to taste Coca-Cola as if for the first time and to be conveyed to the very brink of orgasm by white bread. Makes all the discomfort worthwhile, if you ask me.

A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail (Official Guides to the Appalachian Trail) by Bill Bryson

Ungrateful Poor

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The virtues of the poor may be readily admitted, and are much to be regretted.  We are often told that the poor are grateful for charity.  Some of them are, no doubt, but the best amongst the poor are never grateful.  They are ungrateful, discontented, disobedient, and rebellious.”

Why should they be grateful for the crumbs that fall from the rich man’s table?  They should be seated at the board, and are beginning to know it.  As for being discontented, a man who would not be discontented with such surroundings and such a low mode of life would be a perfect brute.  Disobedience, in the eyes of anyone who has read history, is man’s original virtue.  It is through disobedience that progress has been made, through disobedience and through rebellion.  Sometimes the poor are praised for being thrifty.  But to recommend thrift to the poor is both grotesque and insulting.  It is like advising a man who is starving to eat less.

Man should not be ready to show that he can live like a badly-fed animal.  He should decline to live like that, and should either steal or go on the rates, which is considered by many to be a form of stealing.  As for begging, it is safer to beg than to take, but it is finer to take than to beg.  No: a poor man who is ungrateful, unthrifty, discontented, and rebellious, is probably a real personality, and has much in him.  He is at any rate a healthy protest.”

The Soul of Man Under Socialism by Oscar Wilde (Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wild)

Thousands of Days In a Life

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“In my 15,870 days I’ve come to realize that putting energy into trying to pretend I’m something I’m not is a waste of my days. I’m flawed and I make mistakes, but more often than not I get it right.”

“…It’s kind of the same way with our never-ending winter, perfectly imperfect in its own way. If nothing else these less-than-desirable days of winter are going to really make us appreciate the more beautiful days of spring and summer.

You can accomplish quite a bit in 15,870 days, by Natalie Hagemo on the Weekly News