It is amazing what we can do, and what we can do without, if we have to. As writer Paul De Rapin put it: "Our strength often increases in proportion to the obstacles imposed upon it." That said, Dolly Parton spoke for many when she told Larry King: "I know how to grub in the dirt about as good as anybody, but I hope I don't have to."
Saving by using less reliable or even no contraception is a current, risky trade-off. Perhaps this is aiding the re-discovery of cloth diapers, not the old-fashioned kind, but snap-on's. Diaper boutiques and online stores are popping up. Environmental concerns have drawn celebrities into the move. To rinse a nasty diaper in a toilet and reopen the storage pail before washing is a sensory experience that is, as they say, "priceless."
Joel and Michelle Baker created a cedar-post clothesline to withstand New England winters. Now their Vermont Clothesline Company ships line kits. We save money and enjoy the outdoors. Some remember rows of cloth diapers, rust-colored from iron in our water, soaked by rain just before we got to the line, naked babies waiting.
Polls indicate fewer vacationing Americans this summer, significantly impacting tourism and our mental health. Time for one of Bill Gates' Realism 101 tips: "Life is not divided into semesters. You don't get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you FIND YOURSELF. Do that on your own time." If we have to...
Forced change often demonstrates latent courage. Pierre, a 25-year-old penguin living in San Francisco, had to don a wetsuit when his own feathers fell out. Beauty, an Alaskan bald eagle, survives with an artificial beak. In Cambodia, Buddhist monks built their 20-structure compound entirely from empty beer bottles. New England monks, barely holding on to their monastery, are now successfully selling Easeamine, an expensive wrinkle cream, to fund projects to help the poor.
Doing without some things is inconvenient but not dire. Just as we thought plastic surgery de rigueur, the economy wrinkled, forcing more people to opt for what doctors call "tide you over," less costly work. Some are cutting burial expenses 25 to 75 percent, not to mention aiding the "green" movement, by foregoing embalming and choosing a biodegradable casket. Prisoners living in Sheriff Joe Arpaio's Tent City Jail (Arizona) are living without nicotine, coffee, porno magazines and air conditioning, all while wearing the mandated "pink" uniform, watching "G" movies and the Weather Channel.
Birds use Earth's magnetic field to guide their essential, seasonal flights. How this sixth sense works is unknown, but new research at Oxford unveiled a molecule that may be a key. A sixth sense in humanity longs for truth more vital than air, water, and food "because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them" (Romans 1:19 NAS).
The Bible is reinvented more often than Cher, but the recent "Bible Illuminated: The Book," a slick, fashion presentation, still features the God of the Universe. No matter what else we do with or without, life "with" the Word is better than life "without."
Finding truth requires the right starting point. That is the quest of this column. If you are a seeker of simple truth, we can find it together-side-by-side.