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Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Where to Live a Good Life

Where to live a good life is important- in fact, it is paramount.  Our ancestors knew this well: they would hunt for a good cave, or place to build their huts, where there was ample game and wild vegetables to gather.  A place where there was cover, and a sheltered area, probably around a clearing, where the tribe could build a fire.  A fire for both keeping away predators, cooking food (meat and veggies- and yes, oh lord- there were probably little tubers and grass seeds sometimes too!!). 

Also, for tribal community; the bonding of the folk of the tribe, from very young to very old, both sexes…  Oh yes, community was incredibly important, both in the sense of interactive human community,  but also in the idea of a community as a place.  A place on this earth where you, a paleo person, along with your tribal compatriots, could not only protect and nurture one another, but also protect yourselves from outsiders- other tribes that may want to do you harm!

For, make no mistake- there has always been tribal conflict- one group of people who determine that it would be a good idea to attack another group, and take what they have, and even kill some and drive the rest off!  This conflict between groups of humans has always been with us- and always will, liberal and hippie hand-holding and banner waving notwithstanding.  In the real world, there is no Give Peace a Chance- only Peace Through Strength- “Walk softly and carry a big stick.” 

And so, to come again to our main point- where to live a good life?  A Paleo, ancestral type of healthy and fulfilling life??

I maintain that a smaller sort of community is ideal.  For one thing, our paleolithic ancestors had very small communities, around 40-50 individuals usually made up a tribe.  An area could not support more, nor could close, equal and caring relationships be maintained in larger numbers…

That would require civilization- which, for all of its strengths, also requires a bureaucracy.  Usually a king, and professional soldiers, and taxation- the list goes on from there.  You know it all as well as I do.

But, if you want to remain free, you need to keep numbers down.  Small cities are the maximum that you should live in, and by that I mean 50,000 or less.  And preferably, outside of that metropolis!  (All the benefits and none of the drawbacks)! 

Think of it, wherever you are, you would have a short, uncrowded drive into a place with all of the “culture” and enrichment you could desire.  Small cities now have all that large ones do, without the incredible crime, taxes, crowding, and cultural rot.  And small towns are even better off, with virtually none of the above.

Let’s look back at the ideal of early civilization- ancient Greece- where early life was probably the most ideal around since paleolithic times!  Athens at its height is estimated to be around 40,000 people, and this was the largest by far of each “city-state”, or polis.  And they had just about, for that early time, an ideal society; one where thought, philosophy, and knowledge surpassed anything known before, and anything to come again for thousands of years!

So now, let’s get back to you.  And NOW. 

Say you are a young person, in your twenties or 30’s, married or not.  This is the ideal time to move to a rural or semi-rural location!  Especially is your are currently living in a big city suburban or big city itself place- get out while the getting is good.  Go West Young Man!

Well, not really West, but that might be good…  I would say midwest, but that is me- that’s what I did.  I was 28 when I moved from Chicago to my little upper midwest small town outside of a small city.  It’s a hard thing to do, to move and uproot yourself, but it’s something that was commonplace in the paleolithic world- constantly moving on to new hunting locations, looking for a better spot to raise your family and keep your tribe healthy and happy. 

If you don’t, you will condemn not only yourself to a life in a smog-filled, highly congested area; with lots of crime and incredible taxes and real estate costs- all for a tiny plot of grass, along with status-conscious neighbors that try to outdo you in ostentatiousness.  A bunch of “little Kings and Queens”…

When you could be living in a they mall town paradise!  Raising your family in a green place, with lots of space.  Trees!  Oxygenated air, along with bright starry constellations each night- instead of bright streetlights and billboard signs, sirens, and the sounds of gunshots in the distance. 

And, if you forgo those last by moving to the suburbs, you will instead be faces with horrendous taxation, a hamster-wheel of making “more and more and more money, forevermore”!, and those obnoxious status conscious neighbors that endlessly compare- everything!

It is important to decide early.  Otherwise, you just get… stuck!  You marry a suburban girl, who holds all of those values, and want you, mainly- to make lots and lots of money. 

So, your time is gone, never your own.  Endlessly working, working, just to pay the taxes, to buy the status symbol autos, and remodelings, and unneeded braces and medical treatments that the suburban doctors recommend because they need to do all the same things you are doing, but probably in an even more pricey suburban neighborhood.  Your children grow up, absorbing all of these toxic ideas, and horror of horrors!!- they become like what you have become! 

Just go- go where you really would like to live, NOW!  Not later, after it is too late for your kids, too late for your own life.

As it says, it lists 30 great up and coming small towns in America!  Just pick one, or one like it- there are so many wonderful places in the US that are so much better than major metro areas- so much better it is amazing.  Better in terms of less (or near zero) crime, no traffic congestion, low taxes, low home and land prices, much better schools- the list goes on and on!

Tomorrow I will turn 65!  Yes, your own paleojay will be a certified senior citizen, and couldn’t be happier or more satisfied with the way his life turned out, and continues to go…

My daughter grew up as a rural, small town girl, and turned out with none of the modern hangups that most suburban/city kids do, and is now married and living with my son-in-law (from here as well) in a small town near here.  With my grandson!  So, I know he will turn out good as well- no doubt at all, given his parents and environment.

As a postscript, I will add one more story: My wife and I have started going to a really small town church near us, within the past year.  (Our old church just started getting “too big”.)  This one is in a small river town, and has a “tribal membership” of just about 100.  Just about perfect for a small, historic brick church from 1857.

We struck up a conversation about music with a couple about our age at church “fellowship” after the service, (I’m in the choir), and he told me they were from Illinois, as was I.  He suffered through his whole working life, and his son still lives “down there” as we referred to it.  He wasn’t happy about it, but what could he do?  His kid was kind of - stuck there.

It turns out that he and his wife had finally moved up to this tiny town, after suffering through 40 plus years down in the urban jungle of Illinois- and were so happy! 

I was happy for them as well, but still- 40 years is a long time to wait- a very long time to be where you don’t want to be!  I thought of the toxins he’d breathed over those years, the sedentary job he’d been forced to endure (further sabotaging his health), and I felt sad.  Sad for him, his wife, and especially for his now-trapped son.

He’s happy now, but how many years does he have left, along with his wife?  So, my advice is this:

Do it now.  Choose a place you’d love to live, find a job there, and MOVE THERE!  It’s not easy, I am the first to tell you that, but to uproot yourself at a young age is far easier and more beneficial than when you are a large, full-grown tree with roots that spiral beneath the ground for acres and acres, beneath the urban sidewalks.

Check out this episode!