A Lot of Good People

Sometimes even I think I am a little strange. Here is where I went at 5:25 a.m. this morning, while Attila sawed logs sleeping in. I was looking at quotations. I read a quotation by Pascal. I got thinking about algebra. I loved algebra in high school, and was feeling warm hearted towards integers and variables. I found a web site that reviews the basics of algebra, lets face it it has been more than 30 years since I last paid any attention to algebra. I’ve spent a good part of my morning playing around with simple variables, expressions and equations. It is like playing with blocks, building things from units, moving them around to make sense in different ways. It is also a bit like jigsaw puzzles, fitting things together so that they make sense. What fun!

My Mom remembers this time; she always said that they were lucky during the depression because my Grandfather had work. She never romanticizes the experience. What strikes me is that the people I know who lived through that time, have never voiced contempt for the poor; not for those who were poor during the depression, not for those who are poor now. Perhaps I am just lucky to have only met good people, but if that is the case then there must have been a lot of good people around who grew up in the depression era.

Worldly Distractions


-9 °C
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Pressure: 100.9 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: -9.0°C
Dewpoint: -10.2°C
Humidity: 91 %
Wind: SSE 13 km/h
Wind Chill: -15


“The eyes those silent tongues of Love.”
Miguel de Cervantes

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So true about Depression-era people; I too never heard them refer to poor people in any kind of condescending way. “So he’s a poor man,” my grandfather once said matter-of-factly about a guy I was seeing. It was clear that to Grandpa, a poor man was not only just another someone like us, but I also thought I sensed a perspective that there could be some nobility in being poor. It meant you had to survive through personal ambition and hard work, which Grandpa obviously respected; nothing was handed to you. I come from generations of farmers, by the way, on both sides. Grandpa believed that farming was the most noble profession, because “farmers feed the world.” And they also work like dogs for a financial return that rarely is equal to their efforts and costs.


I think a lot of us come from farming ancestors, in days gone by 80% of the population was rural. Farming was and for some still is hard, hard work. I too was raised to believe that farming was the most noble profession.
Although the tradition of the small farmer remains, a shocking amount of our food supply comes from corporate/factory farms, and from overseas. A shocking percentage of the farm labour in Ontario consists of visiting labourers from Mexico and other countries. Those romantic ads in the media, with red barns, mixed livestock, mixed crops and farm family operators represent the minority and are a romantic myth. Mono-cropping, GMOs, factory chicken, pig or other livestock operations, foreign labourers… economy of scale… international competition… highest and best use… replacing domestic products with foreign (e.g. garlic from China)…

Thank goodness there are still some small farms and farming communities in Canada, may they endure!