Monday, June 2, 2008

Rediscovering Old Wisdom

It really is amazing how much our predecessors knew that we have forgotten. We suppose we have everything figured out, and that we are much more advanced than the
"old timers" though I'm not always certain that's correct.

Take, for example, the old southern U.S. style of home building which helped folks survive the heat and humidity of the long summers. Tall ceilings, windows in all the rooms which opened both at the top and bottom, and a kitchen removed from the main house were all typical elements of southern construction. People today enjoy the "quaint" old construction, yet the reality is that it's just practical wisdom employed to survive the days.

Another example relates to the ways most people raised a good portion of their own food. No matter where folks lived they'd have a garden, some nut or fruit trees, and at least a few chickens around the yard. I still see this in most of the world though urban areas often show a marked decline in such self sufficiency.

I wonder as the economy continues to tighten, as gas prices leap higher each day, and as food prices reflect all of the above, how people will respond. Will we return to "old ways" where everyone was somewhat self sufficient? Will we remember old skills which help us to survive while spending very little money each day?

While our Depression era parents and grandparents knew how to live in such a world these are all old lessons we must learn again today if the economy continues its slide. This shouldn't bring fear though it is a change from life as we have known it the last few decades. After all, those characters with such strength and personality are the ones who achieved so much. Maybe we too will "grow up" and in doing so create a stronger world.

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