04 November 2011

-1849-
November
Farmer's Calendar Excerpt
(A Recipe For Easy Circumstances)

#61


-1849-
Would you like to know how you can always be in easy circumstances? If so, here—take the recipe:

Subdue every unnecessary want or desire, and buy only such things as will add to your real comfort and convenience. 

It is the extreme of folly to think you must buy every thing you see, or have everything that some of your rich neighbors have. If they have attained their wealth by their vices, their exhortations and rogueries, do not try to ape them, but despise alike their means and their ends. If they have acquired their riches by their virtues, their fairdealing and activity and honesty, in business, as only the truly self-made men, the great and excellent of the earth, ever do, they deserve your regard and esteem—they are to be honoured—they are worthy of their success—the community at large will benefit by their prosperity; you will not envy them, nor make vain and fruitless attempts to rival them in their establishments and equipages; but pursue the even  tenor of your way in right-thinking and right-acting, as these noblemen of Nature’s fabric have done before you. 

The frog, in trying to swell to the size of the ox, burst—a certain end to all artificial greatness. Whenever you find you can curtail your expenses, you must summon resolution to do it.
[Maine Farmer's Almanac]



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It is November in the Agrarian Nation. The crops are harvested. The farmer has some profit. And the Maine Farmer's Almanac has some sage advice... live within your means. 

Now there is some wisdom as appropriate to today as it was 162 years ago.

Fathers and mothers, if you want to pass on wisdom to your children, may I suggest that you arm yourself with an arsenal of aphorisms, and use them often through the years, when the occasion warrants. Your children will grow up, and they will remember...

My momma always used to tell me...

"The frog, in trying to swell to the size of the ox, burst."

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I'm wondering, can you think of an aphorism that your father or mother or a grandparent used to say?


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4 comments:

Robert said...

I'm wondering, can you think of an aphorism that your father or mother or a grandparent used to say?

Gram H: Mind your pennies and your dollars will take care of themselves.

Gram H: Never go up- (or down) stairs empty-handed.

Gram H: Walk around your plate. (Eat a bite from each item on the plate, don't just hog down your favorite food.)

Herrick Kimball said...

Robert,
Those are exactly the kind of aphorism recollections I was looking for. The "walk around your plate" is one I've never heard. Many thanks.

Kim in NC said...

My father's words, that I have been glad to pass down to my children, are:
If you're gonna be dumb, you gotta be tough."

Simple, but so true. And we can easily look around ourselves and see the proof.

drhowler said...

"Buy it once, buy it right."
Also extends to "Do it once, do it right."
Buying something once, the right way, is a concept that is almost more sapient nowadays then it was a generation or two ago when my grandparents learned it. It can be difficult, at times, to spring for the better investment rather than the greater immediate payoff -
- A pair of Red Wings for $200 that will last your whole life vs. dozens of pairs of cheap, Chinese-made crap.
- $0.25 worth of steel-cut oats that'll keep you going strong until lunch vs. a $3.00 white-flour cinnamon roll or muffin that'll just take up space in your gut.
etc., etc.