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Sunday, April 5, 2015

PaleoJay's Smoothie Cafe #100- Embrace manual Labor!!

 pjsc 100  Embrace Manual Labor

The common refrain in Paleo-dom is this:

Play is great!  We don’t play enough- embrace your inner child, your paleolithic tribes person and have fun!  Play games with your friends, and have fun scampering around with frisbees and on slack lines!  We all work way too hard, and deserve fun play with our friends!

All well and good, but I think that most of us that “work” too hard, are working at things like computer projects- geeky little things like podcasts, blogs, and ebooks... like I do!!  Business dealings, meetings with clients- stuff like that.  Hardly physical labor!!

Today, I was interrupted in the midst of my daily morning workout, as I bounced on the rebounder while doing my scheduled virtual resistance exercise moves.  I had done all of my stretches, and my self massage, and was enjoying the lymph stimulating cleansing and oxygenating bouncing, when I got a call, an emergency!  And so, I dashed off to deal with it, as anyone would.

Did I regret not finishing my workout?  Did I schedule a “play date” with some of my friends to do Zumba barefooted, and then toss frisbees without shirts on?  No- I carried on with my day, doing what I had to do, and then decided to do some hard manual labor in lieu of a workout.

Although I agree that we all, in modern life, probably don’t play enough, I think a far more pressing need in our lives is to do more manual labor.
Hard physical work is an almost totally missing element in our coddled modern lives, where most folks live in the city or suburbs, drive everywhere in luxury cars that are automatic everything, and make our livings talking on the phone, selling, and typing on our computer keyboards.

So, with this in mind, I decided this late afternoon to tackle an especially irksome task.  The snow has just melted, and today was a glorious sunny day with very damp ground- a perfect day to level a long stretch on my property that is very tilted- perhaps 30 degrees to the side, and then down a steep hillside!
It has always worried me, this long path that so many vehicles and pedestrians travel- tractors, atv’s, golf carts- I always am afraid that someone will tip over, and slide down the hill!  And so...

Since my utility John Deere tractor still has the chains and rear blade on, I put it into 4 wheel drive and attempted level the damp earth of this trail that bisects my land.  I took off a swath of earth, but was really afraid of sliding to the side- so I rode back to the house, got a shovel, and came back to dig!

I spent a good hour, probably more, digging a channel for my tractor tires to follow, that would keep me from sliding down the hill.  It wasn’t fun.  It wasn’t carefree pleasure, like skiing, or paddle boarding, throwing frisbees or doing the jitterbug...

But it was satisfying!

It was hard physical work, but it was not the mindless and meaningless work that is so much a part of modern life.  It was work with a clear purpose! This is what most of us in modern America now lack.

I think that a large part of what is wrong with modern America is its increasing relentless urbanization. Civilizations always eventually become largely decadent, and slide downwards to failure... I think it is because we lose sight of what is truly important and valuable, like hard physical endeavors of all sorts, and start to place more value on sophistry- the ability to use words as a kind of jiu jitsu to change perceptions, and learning to maneuver politics and finances to our advantage.

I know this is a bit wandering, in a way, but I do wish to convey to you what I believe is a truth:

Try to live as rural, and as self sufficient as you can!  GET OUT of big urban areas, if you possibly can- they are time bombs waiting to fail!

Do as much of your own work as you can, and help who you hire if you can’t do it all yourself.

Small communities, small government: this is what works, and has always worked.  Big, top-down, micro-management and dictatorial rule:

Think Imperial Rome, Nazi Germany, the Soviet Republic, and increasingly MODERN AMERICA...

This big scale will never, ever work!

And largely, I think, because those in charge start delegating, and no longer DO THEIR OWN MANUAL, PHYSICAL, HARD WORK!