“If you observe a really happy man you will find him building a boat, writing a symphony, growing double dahlias in his garden,  or looking for dinasour eggs in the Gobi desert. He will not be searching for happiness as if it were a collar button that has rolled under the radiator. He will not be striving for it as a goal in itself. He will have become aware that he is happy in the course of living his life 24 crowded hours of the day.”

Dr. W. Beran Wolfe

By Evelyn Pyburn

Published Previously, August 1, 1989

(Even more true today.)

Not long ago a noted columnist, who had in mid-life left her career to devote more time to the role of being a mother, was being interveiwed on a radio talk show. She commented that she had, prior to her retirement, been criticized by a fellow columnist for writing too much about her children.

She retorted that he wrote too much about politics. After all, she said, raising children and living is what life is really all about – life is not about politics.

The point is well taken and too much overlooked, as our every waking hour is dominated with news of political battles and wars, Congressional actions, power grabs, charges of misdeeds and counter-charges, and the President’s latest sneeze.

While it’s commonly said that man is a political creature, a fully focused veiw on the breadth of humanity can hardly leave room to concur. despite the high profile of those involved with politics, they are but a pitiful minority. Most people are more interested in their children, their work, and their pasttimes – content to leave their neighbor alone, finding great joy and satisfaction in the daily challenges of living.

Frequently condemned as being apathetic, they most likely are not; at least not about thinga that matter the most to them. The fact that their interests are not shared by the politicians is not surprising considering the nature of politics. If one considers politics as the use of force to manipulate people and events, then indeed, such apathy seems wonderfully wholesome.

While the disruptive activities of politics do impact (usually negatively) the lives of average folks, it is nowhere near as great as the impact (usually positively) from those who create and produce.

Ninety percent of the scientists who ever lived are quietly living right now. What they do and learn will have far more reaching effects in history than the most powerful political body in the world. The knowledge that they are gathering will shape the direction of all human beings in the future – and most especially political creatures, who are wholly dependent upon the rest of society for innovation, as well as material support.

So, to leave in peace those who have nothing better to do than raise children, dahlias and bridges, should be the highest aspiration of civilization. 


You must be logged in to post a comment.