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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Words to Live By 11: Look Up!

by Seattle Jon:

Words to Live By is a series featuring short selections by eminent men and women from the mid-twentieth century. Originally published in This Week magazine, the selections represent a mosaic of what people were thinking and feeling in challenging times. Previous Words to Live By here.

Look Up!
by Joseph Wood Krutch (Author and Naturalist)

"He who knows what sweets and virtues are in the ground, the waters, the plants, the heavens, and how to come at these enchantments, is the rich and royal man." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Many take it for granted that progress means the gradual elimination of everything which God and nature put into our world and the substitution for it of the conveniences which man has made.

I like many of them well enough myself, and I have no illusions concerning the "noble savage." Civilized life is the only truly human life. I will take wild flowers and television if I can have them both. But a civilization which has no appreciation of or love for the beauties of nature is only a new kind of barbarism.

It is good that we have our parks, our museums, our nature-study clubs. Nevertheless, opportunities to see wild birds in flight or a wild flower blooming in lonely loveliness grow fewer and fewer because we do not value them enough.

Of course, we need paved highways. But we need quiet wood roads, too. We need television, yet we also need the opportunity to see geese flying against the autumn sky. Unless we realize how much we need these simple pleasures, the time may come when we don't have them. "Nature is the art of God," and a flower is more wonderful than the most ingenious of man's machines.

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Seattle Jon is a family man, little league coach, urban farmer and businessman living in Seattle. He currently gets up early with the markets to trade bonds for a living. In his spare time he enjoys movies, thrifting and is an avid reader. He is a graduate of Brigham Young University and the Japan Fukuoka mission field. He has one wife, four kids and three chickens.

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