Website owner: James Miller
Some people seem to have the ability to see dangers in situations much more than others. A person who is very cautious and one who is very security conscious are examples of the types of people who tend to be more aware of the dangers in situations than other people. Perhaps what is behind it is the gift of foresight or thinking ahead. They are like the squirrel who stores up nuts and food for the coming winter. It is true that the person who gives no thought for the future or the person who gives no thought to danger often does OK. Providence often does take care of him. But is not the very essence of wisdom and prudence to take thought of the future and to take notice of danger? Is not failure to take thought for the future or failure to see the danger of a situation the best sign of a foolish man? Why have I always put so much emphasis on saving money? Why am I so uncomfortable in any situation where I am under someone else's thumb, such as being an employee under the authority of a boss or a student under the authority of a teacher? Why do I look so askance at life in a highly industrialized, highly technical, highly complicated society where everyone is so highly interdependent on everyone else, where everyone is "under the thumb" of someone else? Why do I see the ideal lifestyle as being the independent, self-sufficient life in which you are your own boss and have no-one over you (as in life on a homestead out in the country where you grow your own food, supply most of your own needs, and are not dependent on others)? Answer? I see the potential for real harm in these situations where everyone is so dependent on someone else. Whenever you are in the employ of someone else, whenever your bread comes from another, you are at his mercy. Your whole livelihood, the entire structure of your life, is in his hands. You are at the mercy of his feelings, whims and prejudices. You are at the mercy of his integrity, goodness, patience, understanding and fairness (or lack of these qualities). The power of most authority is very great. Most people can be made to do the will of whoever holds power over them --- whatever that may be, good or bad. That is how Hitler in Germany and Stalin in Russia were able to get away with such atrocities. Most people are not willing to resist authority and power. They are not willing to fight "the system". They know that it would be useless and futile and they won't try. I do fear the potential for harm, the potential for abuse and evil, inherent in authority. I do not trust authority. I do not trust it to be fair and just. Some people seem to be comfortable and content with authority. I am not. Why the difference? I think the answer has a lot to do with the way different people appraise human nature. Some people are very pessimistic about human nature; others are very optimistic. Some people think that the heart of man is deceitful, selfish and bad; others think that it is trustworthy and good. The ones who are optimistic about human nature think that man is basically good, that he will usually do the right thing, and that he can be trusted. I am afraid I belong to the group that takes the pessimistic view. I do not believe that man can be trusted to do the right thing. The Prince of this World simply holds too much power in this world and he is generally able to induce man to do his bidding. Apr 1984 More from SolitaryRoad.com:
On Self-sufficient Country Living, Homesteading
Principles for Living Life
Topically Arranged Proverbs, Precepts, Quotations. Common Sayings. Poor Richard's Almanac.
America has lost her way
The really big sins
Theory on the Formation of Character
You are what you eat
People are like radio tuners --- they pick out and listen to one wavelength and ignore the rest
Cause of Character Traits --- According to Aristotle
These things go together
We are what we eat --- living under the discipline of a diet
Avoiding problems and trouble in life
Role of habit in formation of character
The True Christian
What is true Christianity?
Personal attributes of the true Christian
What determines a person's character?
Love of God and love of virtue are closely united
Walking a solitary road
Intellectual disparities among people and the power in good habits
Tools of Satan. Tactics and Tricks used by the Devil.
On responding to wrongs
Real Christian Faith
The Natural Way -- The Unnatural Way
Wisdom, Reason and Virtue are closely related
Knowledge is one thing, wisdom is another
My views on Christianity in America
The most important thing in life is understanding
Sizing up people
We are all examples --- for good or for bad
Television --- spiritual poison
The Prime Mover that decides "What We Are"
Where do our outlooks, attitudes and values come from?
Sin is serious business. The punishment for it is real. Hell is real.
Self-imposed discipline and regimentation
Achieving happiness in life --- a matter of the right strategies
Self-control, self-restraint, self-discipline basic to so much in life
We are our habits
What creates moral character?