By Robert L. Hall
Ever tell someone you just went quail hunting in the local woods, and they tell you about their moose hunt in Alaska? Or that you went swimming at a lake and they relate to you details of their trip to the French Riviera? It’s called one-upmanship. And who needs it? Most folks I know are content to enjoy the everyday pleasures that we are afforded these days. Even the mundane and everyday things we take for granted were not available to wealthy emperors or kings of the past. Does anyone think that our ancestors ever had ice for their drinks, fresh domestic and exotic meats all the time, medical and surgical advances that could treat what would have been considered mortal diseases or accidents back then? We have the fluffiest clothes, the cushiest chairs, the most colorful décor, sugar donuts, coffee and bananas from the tropics, goods from the far-flung corners of the earth. You had me at sugar donuts. Everyone has their favorite things. I like flannel shirts. Heck, my father and I exchanged flannel shirts every Christmas and looked forward to it. Why? We knew we were getting flannel shirts, didn’t we? Duh? But, what color would we get and would it be small checks or large plaids? In green, blue or red? It didn’t matter. Because that wasn’t the point. They were ours and we loved them. That was the point. We knew we enjoyed the feel, the look, the comfort of the shirts, and we purchased them for each other. That was the point. It was truly the thought that mattered. Then, there’s coffee. Heck, coffee is featured in my home, at the office, at church, and available at any store or restaurant. It’s beautiful. It smells great, tastes great, makes you feel great. And it is taxed on the same equal plane as any other drink product. It isn’t cigarettes and the government isn’t trying to ban it, the left isn’t trying to limit the sale of it, the restaurants don’t make you take it outside out of sight of other customers and I can make it at home … myself. All I have to do to get it, is to boil water. And I can barely do that. But, honestly, don’t tell the lefties. No, don’t tell them. If they think people actually like something as much as coffee, they will sharpen the bows of their anti-whaling ships and ram them into freighters hauling coffee from South America. Anything to kill a party. Because they are psychotic joy-killers. Then, there are hobbies. With entertainment being what it is, many are weaning themselves away from television, movies and a lot of Internet pastimes that both weary people and make them realize in a way that no one in history could have imagined-that most of it is a complete waste of time. There is an impetus, a need of humans to excel, and hobbies provide that. Excellence is not reached by spreading oneself thin, but by intense systematic study of a subject. Discipline, a long-neglected art, has to be attempted in order to reach any degree of perfection at a hobby. I know those who excel at hunting, fishing, music, writing, horseback-riding, and even coupon-clipping, yard sales and collecting. Hobbies are great, because they provide that avenue for the mind to expand, the eye to enjoy, the appetite to be indulged (within reason or a budget or bank account.) And, there is enough variety, enough novelty … and with the help of the computer age … enough information out there to make hobbies and collecting extensive, intriguing and enjoyable. Who needs millions of dollars, far-flung resources, or power beyond compare in order to enjoy simple pleasures of life? For, we have all that is needed to live a good life and to indulge in the simple pleasures of life. It is called freedom. It is more than many lands and peoples have today. And if we really want to KEEP enjoying the simple things, we need to protect our freedoms. For with freedom-among other things-come our simple pleasures.