Welcome to The Pauley Principle!

The Pauli Principle, named for Wolfgang Pauli, deals with atoms and electron-sharing that results in new, stronger bonds. Think 2 parts hydrogen and 1 part oxygen, a shared delectable (!) electron and VOILA! Water!

Similarly, when you prepare whole food to share with family and friends, especially foods you've grown, something amazing happens. Meals become tastier and healthier. Your soul, not just your stomach, becomes fulfilled. You live life more abundantly as a result. During a shared meal, the bonds that people create grow stronger and become something new: GREATER than the sum of the parts! I give you The Pauley Principle.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Wanted: A Newly Designed American Dream



As I brought in my herbs in time to beat the first frost of fall, I was reminded of an earlier post about getting started on the road to being more self-reliant. I still believe growing tomatoes and herbs is a good place to start building toward a better future and defining a new American Dream.

   Our country is at a turning point. Each time we hit a turning point, the American Dream changes. My simple gardening approach is much more practical for most Americans than following books from the early 40's or mid-70's that touted having five acres and independence or becoming independent on an acre. In today's reality, buying and working an acre of tillable ground is out of reach for many and simply not practical. By contrast, herbs and tomatoes can be raised in pots on a patio and don't require much money. 

    The American Dream that sprang up in the 50's, in between the " back to the land" movements, resulted in the Smallvilles, Pleasantvilles, and even the literary Stepford. The public perception was manipulated so that "living off the land" was thought to be for poor but proud people, those who were willing to work hard just to keep food on the table. The boom times of the 50's in the U. S. had many people feeling rich, living rich, in comfortable little housing subdivisions. "Living off the land", in fact gardening itself, was no longer the thing to do. Ad execs did a fine job of painting the landscape. They showed land ownership as costly, inconvenient and undesirable for the American family. People were persuaded that, with their new leisure time, what the newly-planted American family needed was a 40-hour work week followed with activities such as ball games, bowling and family vacation spots to fill time and serve as diversions from agrarian life and crime. People were happy, and for a while crime was on the decline. Farming and food production, done largely by big corporations, was believed to be a more efficient way to feed the masses.
    At some point and for many Americans, the last train to the American Dream left the station unexpectedly, passing by many young people before they could even buy a ticket into Pleasantville or out of Fear or Hopelessness. For many, the only place left is Poverty, where people have little control. The ticket to Poverty is practically free, costing only a little self-respect. That's an extreme price to pay for both the individual and the country. That lack of control, that anger, leads to higher crime rates and drug use as means of getting by or coping with problems that poverty brings. The "lost generation" is those people in their 20's, the ones who are hurting the most, especially those who are un- or under- employed and have a college loan and/or health costs to pay off. No one should live in hunger or despair, and if this generation is allowed to slide under the train of dreams as it pulls out, our entire nation will suffer for it. 

    Number one in my attempt to make this a better world is to get people "back to the land", no matter how small their piece of the rock, whether rented, bought or shared with others. We gain balance as we work the soil, plant and nurture. And with that balance comes a sense of purpose.

    Since the unattainable American Dream of the past makes a lot of people very angry, and rightly so, the old paradigm needs to shift. What will the new dream look like? It's anyone's guess, but a new version, an adjusted and attainable American Dream that pairs Pleasantville with Farmville, should  be within reach. If we can just find and plant the magic bean, one that will bring jobs and needed productivity, then people can again work an honest, good-paying job to afford decent housing and good food. We need that magic bean as a way to help people get up on the platform for the next train, one that leads to a newly-designed American Dream.

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