Good Solutions I

Picking up on this earlier post, and this one too, here is the first of Berry’s principles for a good solution:

A good solution accepts given limits, using so far as is possible what is at hand. The farther fetched the solution, the less it should be trusted…. Enlarging scale is a deceptive solution; it solves one problem by acquiring another, or several others.

Here is one of those pieces of common sense that is so very hard to apply in one’s own circumstances. The problem of scale is especially pernicious in a money culture like ours. If we have a problem, the solution is to get more money and resources. But that is not the case if the scale of the solution blows the problem to smithereens.

 We must learn to accept limits and use the resources at hand. Otherwise we might find ourselves committing acts of madness: unspeakable acts – like taking on debt.

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New Old-Fashioned Ice Cream

“It is surely the duty of the older generation to be embarrassingly old-fashioned, for the claims of the “newness” of any younger generation are mostly frivolous.”

Wendell Berry, Family Work from The Gift of Good Land