Till Your Own Garden

The Sunken Garden of Butchart Gardens, Victoria, British Columbia

My readers may have noticed a lot of guest posts on the blog lately. Here’s why.

After nearly hosting the blog for over ten years and writing almost 1500 posts you sometimes need a break. In addition, one should only write when they have something new to say and often I simply don’t.

Another reason is its summer in Seattle. Now this isn’t the summer many people experience—the 15 day forecast calls for highs in the 60s and 70s Fahrenheit—but when I see the sun shining after a cloudy winter I’m like a little kid—I want to be outside! I take long walks, often 5 or 6 miles almost every day and try to fight sarcopenia by mild workouts at the gym.

I keep up with the news, reading the NY Times, Washington Post, Salon, Slate, Vox, and a few other news sources daily. As usual I’m terrified of the possibility of fascism coming to America (which is a real possibility) but I try not to dwell on it. I don’t bury my head in the sand but I recognize my limited ability to effect world affairs.

Here I’m reminded on Voltaire’s counsel to “till your own garden.” What Voltaire meant was that we should keep a good distance between ourselves and the world for too close an interest in politics or public opinion causes aggravation and danger. Now the flipside of this is that keeping a distance from politics doesn’t mean it will keep a distance from you—you can’t till your garden if the regime under which you live becomes too regressive and authoritarian.

For me employing Voltaire’s implies loving my wife and children and grandchildren as best I can, eating a whole food plant based diet, getting enough sleep, moving my body, and improving my mind. There are many weeds in my garden, but I keep trying to pull them out.

 

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8 thoughts on “Till Your Own Garden

  1. As the Romans used to say “Memento Vivere”

    “Remember to Live ”

    Thanks John, We cannot be reminded to do this enough

  2. I *cut my teeth* on Rousseau, Voltaire and several others of that era…have tilled my own garden, figuratively and literally. Made a comment, good or bad, earlier today on another blog. Everyone gets tired. We move on. Purpose is emergent, seems to me—one door slams shut; another, opens. When you give up, you die, either figuratively or literally. One way. Or, another. Had a doctor appointment today, result: status quo. See me again in December. All good. Thanks for allowing me here. I have commended your efforts to others. I have some tomato plants to nuture…

    Carry on, Dr.

  3. “For me employing Voltaire’s implies loving my wife and children and grandchildren as best I can, eating a whole food plant based diet, getting enough sleep, moving my body, and improving my mind. There are many weeds in my garden, but I keep trying to pull them out.”

    Congratulations Doctor John, you have found the meaning in life!

    Knowledge ‘sometimes’ contradicts the things we want to believe and creates conundrums in the minds of people who Religiously, believe in Religion, Science or even in Political Parties and Candidates. Belief is the only corroboration a true believer needs to believe what ever they want to believe!

    When you mentioned the intimate detail of family life concerning the ‘diagnosis’ of Autism, you invited, hopefully, useful comments from the readers of the blog.

    I am sending you this on a personal person to person basis, I do not expect or want a reply, you don’t know me or I you, ‘except as we can garner from each others posts’ and it is extremely unlikely that our paths shall ever cross, that is fine with me, I sincerely wish you and your Family all the best as we transit these perilous times!

    Please don’t publish this on the Blog.

    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2024-06-12/autism-and-adhd-rates-explode-public-healthtm-establishment-shrugs

  4. And if the regime under which we live does indeed become too regressive and authoritarian, then what? Is our democracy worth dying for? Socrates seemed to think his was.

  5. As I’ve written before, most people don’t want to know they want to believe.

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