Recently a friend of mine shared a video with me after having heard about my recent post about Digital Minimalism. She was curious to know my thoughts about it. I will leave my thoughts below; I will leave the video here, too.
Hard Work Is the Laboratory
Many years ago I lived on a farm, which was surrounded by ranch-lands and farmsteads. This modest farm was many miles from any near-by town. Most of my friends were many miles away, too. So getting to any kind of derision was never a simple thing. I reflected on all of this after visiting my old neighborhood over the weekend. As luck would have it, I was fortunate enough to visit with some of my old neighbors.
One such neighbor, the wife of my childhood mentor, who passed a few years ago, bemoaned that there has not been a better sprinkler mover since those years where I walked the fields. “You simply can’t get kids to walk the fields and move sprinklers anymore, Alix,” she decried. “Not even for two hours a day at twice minimum wage! It gets in the way of their screen time.”
You simply can’t get kids to walk… It gets in the way of their screen time.Mrs. Warr
I shook my head in agreement of disapproval and told her that I’d still be moving them were I in the neighborhood. Truthfully, I would walk those fields for the rest of my life if I could. The peace and imagination, the stories I would conjure to the clouds, all of it would take a person’s breath away if they only knew what depth of solace I felt moving those hand-lines as a young man. And that was only in the fields.
Breathing Is a Skill
When I wasn’t punching cows, bucking bales of hay, or trucking hand-lines through the fields, I was headlong under-water breathing to the rhythm of my swim coach’s instruction. “1,2,3,4,5, breath… 1,2,3,4,5, breath…” I would hear his words sound in my head like a sonar as I’d stroke my way through his grueling workouts. I can still hear those fate-filled words he said to me as I told him how hard it was to breath that pattern.
“Alix,” he said holding his clipboard to his chest and pinching the wings of his nose, “you don’t need more air in your lungs, you need to be more efficient with the air you already have.”
You don’t need more air in your lungs, you need to be more efficient with the air you already have.Coach Roberts
While I didn’t agree with him at the time, I have since come around to learn what he meant – all you need to do is listen to the way people breath in a waiting room, or on a date, to know that people lack control over their breath. And lacking control over breath is to lack control over one of our most fundamental bodily functions. I’ve often thought to ask, just as an unofficial social experiment, the mouth breathers and loud nose breathers of the world if they felt like their life was a little out of control. My suspicion is that they would say yes.
What We Do Is Our Character
To round this off. I may not have the character I once had as a youth: A young man who walked ranch fields and meditated my mortality underwater. I do, however, have enough sense in me to know that it was over-coming difficulties and trials in those arenas of youth that I often find my self joyous and in awe at the wellspring of happiness I’d experienced as a young man. What’s more, in fact, is that I often go back to those wellsprings when faced with new struggles. Much like the one I face now – the soul crushing comforts of modernity. And from these wellsprings there is a weapon, an Excalibur of sorts, that I have come to trust with all my heart, an incredible weapon I was given as a young man that I hope to share with you now: who we are is not what we do, what we do is who we are. This the essence of character.
Who we are is not what we do, what we do is who we are. This the essence of characterAlixander Court
I’d love if you would comment below and let me know what you do and the character it makes of you.