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From Thoreau to Gandhi: Think Inside Out

Jul 15, 2008
American antiques personalities run the range of expression of simple living by natures rules to more sophisicated observations. And whether by the fire in Concord in debate or in the daily observations of life can be seen in the words and lives of Thoreau or Emerson. Henry David built his modest cottage of wattles by Walden Pond on land owned by his dear friend Ralph Waldo, on whose benevolvence Thoreau relied more than once. And it may well have been that Emerson quietly paid the tax that Thoreau so opposed.

This new Mexican war tax was specifically to pay for the soldiers all the way to Mexico City. Had it been up to him, we might imagine the skeletal frame of Henry David in that cell yet. To remember the Alamo was one matter. But to pursue Santa Anna and his army all the way from San Antonio to Mexico was a definite over kill as to say. That it did end with these soldiers eventually extending America to the Rio Grande all the way to Mission San Diego on the Pacific seemed to many this was a natural completion of the manifest destined dreams of Franklin and Jefferson.

But yet this incursion did complete the basic framework of modern America; with or with out the tax payments of Henry David Thoreau. We all know that Thoreau would cry at the state of much of America today. But yet amongst the smokestacks and industry, we are cleaning up Walden Pond. If they can do it there, they can do it. Any where. Jefferson had chafed under the presidency of Washington, who he felt had allowed the brahmins of Boston to work towards a gentler kingdomthan England but one who still understood that a Boston gentleman was a step above, and then there were the slave owners.

Jefferson, ever the independence fighter broke with this cabinet and created the Democratic Party to oppose these Whig and Tory old world mind sets. His two terms saw America raise it's vision, double it's size, confirm it's position as an independent state in the affairs of the world. His purchase of Louisiana and his Lewis and Clark expedition to the Pacific Ocean set the Oregon Territory into play as the north west corner of the America jig saw, in defiance of claims by Britain, Spain and Russia.

To many of the old school, this purchase had been Jefferson's greatest Folly. Yet to a cash starved Napoleon these lands were not of primary concern in his life, when cash could build ships to invade England and feed his troops. After it's parody of dignity to the human soul in the French Revolution, this was the opportunity that Tom Jefferson would catapult America towards its sea to sea destiny. He thought that to settle America would take a thousand years with an English speaking civilization.

And yet within decades settlers in wagons or on foot were seen passing by the Hudsons Bay Company trading post at Fort Vancouver on the Columbia River. Britain was soon negoiating a best deal backup which had British rule depart for newly created Fort Victoria on the south tip of Vancouver's Island to create a British ruled based culture, which has thrived separately. And the vast Oregon Territory became Washington, Oregan and Idaho. Soon Portland blossomed and the inland valleys were trading and growing apples and more abundance of food crops with each new wagon train caravan overland from America.

Your interest in this is how reflective, how adaptive you can be as you face stress tests daily in your life. How well you can think like Thomas Jefferson as you search each best path through the maze of realities that face you, creates the realities you work with. An overwhelming loss, death of a child or family member in Iraq, financial meltdown on the job site, mortgage issues. Bad things happen to good people and it just happens in the great swings in life. One day you are sitting on the statue, next you are the statue.

Hold each issue up to the light of reality and share it with your closest. out of the mouth of babes can come answers because the babes are closer to God and nature, or otherwise as you see your light. Go for it. Your destiny awaits each decision you make, and through very taxing times such as these, each step counts. Your journey across your continenal divide will require that you get off your not so biblical ass and walk in the direction of your dreams.

As long as you take that first hesitant One Step, one decision at a time. Even baby steps count when they begin you on your way: God loves our baby steps. Baby steps so often can evolve into big things, better futures. Here is to yours, as part of American antiques free steps towards a better future. It is just there in us.
About the Author
Derek Dashwood enjoys noticing positive ways we progress, the combining of science into the humanities to measure politics, wise use and mis use of power and protective love at
American Antiques
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