Website owner:  James Miller

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Americans just don’t know how to live life

I look about me and I am impressed by this fact: Americans just don’t know how to live life. All their personal habits are wrong. Everything they do is wrong. They just think wrong. Example. Just look at the percentage of people who are way overweight or obese in this society. In some areas of the country, some areas of Appalachia for example, it seems like almost everyone is overweight. What is the meaning of this? Don’t tell me it is heredity. Not when husband, wife, all the children, and the dog are all way overweight. (And this is not without consequences. Overweight people tend to be sickly, have all kinds of ailments, and die young). What is the problem? The basic problem here is the basic tendency of our society toward self-indulgence. Everyone’s habit of “treating themselves”, “being good to themselves”. Their desire for pleasure, “fun”, enjoyment, entertainment. They just love candy and cake. They just can’t control themselves. Whether it is eating too much (and eating all of the wrong things, like too much soda and Twinkies), drinking alcohol, taking drugs, or watching pornography, it is all about self-indulgence. People think happiness is found in the pursuit of pleasure. They think they owe this to themselves and that to themselves. They chase after all kinds of pleasure and luxury. In vainness and pride they compete with the Joneses. They take pleasure in squandering money, throwing it away on foolishness. In fact, they are behaving in exactly the opposite way from the way they ought to act. The right way for the most happy life, the most fulfilling life, is the way of hard work, self-discipline, self-control, temperance, abstinence, simplicity, and frugality. It is the thoughtful, disciplined life based on reason and good, upright, god-fearing living. This issue is all about wisdom and understanding. Americans lack wisdom and understanding. They are fools. They just follow the crowd, do everything the crowd does, and the crowd takes them down the road of foolishness. I am 78 years old, in good health, feel as well as I have ever felt, take no medications. And for the last 35 years I have walked five miles a day, done back exercises, slept on the floor, and followed a very strict and simple diet. I have taken health seriously and put time and effort into maintaining it. My life has been a good one, a happy one. I look around me and I see a lot of nasty, mean, unhappy, miserable people. It is all about knowing how to live, living right. I take God seriously and he has been good to me.

What has happened to America? Could it be that too much wealth, too much money, too much ease, too much luxury has ruined people? That human nature is just not able to handle too much wealth, ease, and luxury?

When I was a young boy growing up on our farm there were few luxuries. We never ate out at restaurants. I don’t think I ever ate at a restaurant until after I left home and was on my own. Were we poor? I don’t think we were poor. We had a decent home, all we wanted to eat, sufficient clothing, all we needed. If you have everything you need, you are not poor. We just didn’t have all the luxuries that modern Americans have. When I was in high school many of the students had cars, dated, went to movies, went to Dairy Queen’s , etc. I didn’t have a car, didn’t date, and didn’t do these kinds of things. I didn’t have money to spend and if I had had it I wouldn’t have squandered it on foolishness. That wouldn’t have been me. I had too much sense for that. Too much money, too much free time, and too much luxury leads to foolishness and trouble. When people have too much given to them they don’t appreciate things.

   Eat to live, and not live to eat.

   To lengthen thy life, lessen thy meals.

   Dine with little, sup with less:

     Do better still; sleep supperless.

   No wonder Tom grows fat, th' unwieldy sinner,

   Makes his whole life but one continual dinner.

   Eat few suppers and you'll need few medicines.

   Many dishes, many diseases.

   I saw few die of hunger; of eating --- 100,000.

   The best physicians are Dr. Diet, Dr. Quiet, and Dr. Merryman.


   The only way for a rich man to be healthy is by exercise and

   abstinence, to live as if he were poor.

                                            Sir W. Temple

   Health is the greatest of all possessions; a pale cobbler is

   better than a sick king.



   Against Diseases here, the strongest Fence,

     Is the defensive Virtue, Abstinence.

   Half the spiritual difficulties that men and women suffer arise

      from a morbid state of health.

                                              H. W. Beecher

Nov 2017

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