Follow the path toward simplicity

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“The earth does not argue, is not pathetic, has no arrangements, does not scream, haste, persuade, threaten, promise, makes no discriminations, has no conceivable failures, closes nothing, refuses nothing, shuts none out.”

— Walt Whitman

It has been said that of all the things available to human beings, land is one thing that is taken far too much for granted. With the world population now at 7.5 billion and growing, humanity is faced with limited natural resources on which to draw.

Limited resources

Far too many years were spent with no regard to just how limited those natural resources really are. Our future depends on us each paying attention.

We have witnessed land being taken out of production at an alarming rate in some states more than others. Ohio family farms are turning into housing developments, while in cities, long-established housing developments are being turned into parking lots, with many still-usable residential and commercial buildings standing empty and abandoned.

We watch. We wonder. We do so little.

Population issues

Over-crowding is said to be the real root of all evil, as people vie for space, peace, tranquility, jobs and security. There is envy now blasted at those who can afford the wide open spaces, when just a few short decades ago, the rush from farm to city seemed to be the only way to live.

It is a confusing civilization in which we live. We build bigger homes, then we never stay home. We build bigger garages to house the fancy cars and boats and toys that no one has time to enjoy.

People are working more hours than ever to pay for those fancy toys that no one has time to pull out of the garages. It would be wonderful and desirable to go back to simplicity, but no one seems to know the path.

Not only have we lost our way, but we have lost the sweet contentment that once came with simplicity. Is it possible to sit on a porch swing and watch the world go by?

Other places

In some parts of the world, it seems it would be difficult to even find an empty seat with a view.

In New York City, there are 27,000 people per square mile and constantly growing. It is difficult to even comprehend such statistics.

In a collection of Shaker millennial hymns, contentment is often the subject matter: “Nothing on the earth below, naught that heaven can bestow, fills the soul with peace, if contentment dwell not there. All is dreary, dark and bare; she alone makes heavenly fare, she alone is bliss.”

We are told to follow our bliss. Finding the way seems to be one of the biggest challenges facing our world today.

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Judith Sutherland, born and raised on an Ohio family dairy farm, now lives on a 70-acre farm not far from the area where her father’s family settled in the 1850s. Appreciating the tranquility of rural life, Sutherland enjoys sharing a view of her world through writing. Other interests include teaching, reading, training dogs and raising puppies. She and her husband have two children, a son and a daughter, in college.

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