May 28, 2013 § 9 Comments
Last night Rye and I slept in a tent next to pen that houses the boys’ goats. Rye’s doe, Flora, is due to kid any day (or night) now, and Rye, being of the caregiving sort, darn well plans to be there when it happens. So for the next unknowable quantity of nights until she comes forth with however many impossibly small creatures of the caprine variety she’s carrying, the tent is where I slumber. Which ain’t so bad, really, particularly on these cool, clear, bug-free nights, the rain fly left wadded in the grass so that we might see the stars through the tent mesh and wake in the morning with our faces damp from dew. I can promise you, there are worse things in the world.
I have been thinking a lot about logic, particularly since I posted a couple weeks back about how we’re not always particularly logical in our decision making. The more I think about it, the more I realize how wrong I was: We do think and act logically. It just may not always appear that way.
Here’s what I think (for now, anyway): Our culture’s definition of logic seems to have become linked to expectations set by contemporary economic arrangements. In other words, we determine what is logical or illogical based in large part on what the market tells us is logical or illogical. It is illogical to keep cows, because milk and butter and beef are so plentiful and cheap in every supermarket. It is illogical to spend two hours tromping through the forest in a fruitless search for morels, because of course time is money, the latter of which those hours could have been spent earning. And what do you have to show for those hours? A bunch of bramble scratches and a stubbed toe?
It is illogical to repair a tool or appliance, because tossing it and buying a new one is easier and cheaper. It is illogical to educate your children at home because to educate your children at home, you must forgo whatever income you might otherwise be paid. It is illogical to pursue your passion, because your passion does not pay. Better to make a practical career choice, and perhaps when you retire, well, maybe then you’ll get to do what you really want. Maybe then you’ll get live the life you truly want to live.
The definition of logic is reasoning conducted or assessed according to strict principles of validity. Which makes me wonder: What are my strict principles of validity? It seems a worthy exercise to determine what these might be, for if we don’t even know what they are, do we not risk having them determined by external forces, and won’t those determinations be made with someone else’s profit in mind? I think we do, and I think they will.
So then. For the record, and perhaps to be continued, my strict principles of validity:
1) Time is not money. Time is life.
2) Ergo, I would prefer to retain control over as much of my time (life) as possible.
3) Ergo, I would prefer to not relinquish portions of my life to pay for shit I don’t really need.
4) My family is important to me, my children are growing fast, and I love their company.
5) Ergo, I wish to spend as much of my time (life) in their company as possible.
6) Ergo, I will educate them in a manner that enables this.
7) I am most satisfied in body, mind, and spirit when I am able to spend a portion of each day laboring or simply being on the land.
8) Ergo, I will arrange my life in such a manner as to make this a reality.
That’s a fairly short, off-the-top-of-my-head list. But already, I see how it transforms my notion of what is logical and what is not. Already, I see how I needn’t allow my personal sense of what makes sense to become a victim of forces that don’t necessarily have my best interests at heart.
Ergo, to allow others to define what is logical, my friends, would be simply illogical.