Friday, April 17, 2009

the wojtowicz's, franklin, and douglass

patrick, melissa, and gabrielle wojtowicz have become my newest heroes. after reading an article about them in the 4/14/09 issue of USA Today (having trouble linking to the article - sorry) and a subsequent article by peggy noonan , I decided to check out the wojtowicz’s blog (i can't figure out why this link says the blog doesn't exist, but when it says that true north doesn't exist, click on true north and it will take you to none other than true north).

these guys figured it out. as patrick says in the USA Today article, “The idea of living a fuller, more satisfying life seems simple to us now. . . . We would basically buy stuff to feel good. . . . When that stuff stopped filling the voids we had, we started analyzing what it was that we were really missing. . . . Money, cash, credit, maybe they don’t matter. Maybe, just maybe, it is those things that impede our ability to be truly happy.”

patrick is right. and the path the wojtowicz family are on embodies ben franklin’s ideas of self-reliance, specifically virtues #4, #5, and #6: resolution, frugality, and industry. i hope and pray, that the wojtowiczs are indicative of a whole movement back to an agrarian life style. if they are, and if there is a shift in american culture back to an agrarian mind set, maybe an unintended consequence of BIG GOVERNMENT’s meddling in the american way of life could be a positive.

in his Self-Made Man lecture of 1859, frederick douglass said, “Self-made men are the men . . . who they are, without the aid of any of the favoring conditions by which other men usually rise in the world and achieve great results. . . . They are the men who, in a world of schools, academics, colleges, and other institutions of learning, are often compelled by unfriendly circumstances to acquire their education elsewhere and, amidst unfavorable conditions, to hew out for themselves a way to success, and thus to become the architects of their own good fortunes. . . . If they have traveled far, they have made the road on which they have traveled. If they have ascended high, they have built their own ladder. . . . I am certain that there is nothing good, great or desirable which man can possess in this world, that does not come by some kind of labor, either physical or mental, moral or spiritual. A man may, at times, get something for nothing, but it will, in his hands, amount to nothing. What is true in the world of matter is equally true in the world of the mind. Without culture there can be no growth; without exertion, no acquisition; without friction, no polish; without labor, no knowledge; without action, no progress and without conflict, no victory. The man who lies down a fool at night, hoping that he will waken wise in the morning, will rise up in the morning as he laid down in the evening.”

i think franklin and douglass would've been proud of the wojtowic family.

hard-working hands gain control, but lazy hands do slave labor. Proverbs 12:24

1 comment:

Rae Ann said...

Great story! It seems a lot of people really are moving towards this simpler lifestyle.