Once upon a time, a man said to me, "I could write a column like yours, you often use other people's words." I agreed. I have not been everywhere, man, I have not read it all, heard it all nor seen it all.

Once upon a time, a man said to me, “I could write a column like yours, you often use other people’s words.” I agreed. I have not been everywhere, man, I have not read it all, heard it all nor seen it all.

And, we must not forget, everyone is unique. There is no other human being like you. Millions have two eyes, a nose, a mouth, but not like you. None have your traits, none think like you and none speak like you. Your individuality is your one unique possession, and your only real claim to importance.

Think for yourself is a motto to help achieve, and maintain, our uniqueness.

Will and Ariel Durant’s Story of Civilization was a good start, well, actually ending, for in their brief summary of what they discovered after studying and writing about the world’s people, came this thought-provoking observation: “What we are up against is the simple fact that man is still an animal. That is the deepest thing in his nature – the survival instinct and the hunting instinct. Those were necessary at one time. When self-preservation was the rule, rather than the pressures of society. So morality has an uphill battle against these two inheritances. You have to recognize the enormous difficulty in making an animal and hunter into a citizen, a civilized man.”

All of which may play into our search for the good life, which Marya Marmes has observed, “The good life exists only when you stop wanting a better one. It is the condition of savouring what is, rather than longing for what might be. The itch for things so brilliantly injected by those who make and sell them is, in effect, a virus draining the soul of contentment.

“A man never earns enough; a woman is never beautiful enough; clothes are never new enough; the house is never finished enough; the food is never fancy enough.

“There is a point at which salvation lies in stepping off the escalator – of saying, Enough! What I have will do. What I make of it is up to me!”

And, about the children in our lives, Dr. William J. Riley suggests, “If we were to begin, even in grade school, to teach everyone the simple lessons of human relations – just as we teach reading, writing and arithmetic, it would have a profound effect on the world we live in. This task represents perhaps the greatest challenge which education faces today and in centuries to come.”

And, about adults, consider, “A man may hide himself from you, or misrepresent himself to you in every other way, but he cannot do so in his work. His imagination, his perseverance, his impatience, his clumsiness, his cleverness, everything is there to be seen in a man’s work. For example, if stonework is well put together it means a thoughtful man planned it, a careful man cut it, and an honest man cemented it.”

I cite, in closing, from an old tale.

“All my life,” he said, “I have searched for the treasure. I have sought it in the high places and in the narrow. I have sought it in the deep jungles, and at the ends of rivers, and in dark caverns and yet have not found it.

“Instead, at the end of every trail, I have found you awaiting me. And now you have become familiar to me, though I cannot say I know you well. Who are you?”

And the stranger answered, “Thyself.”

Finally, something to think about from one of my favorites, Chief Dan George:

Keep a few embers

From the fire

That used to burn in your village.

Some day go back

So all can gather again

And rekindle a new flame

For a new life in a changed world.

A tip of the hat to everyone involved in our municipal elections, from the scrutineers to the candidates and all in between.

See you at the polls!

Just Posted

City of Whitehorse tells taxi passengers who feel unsafe to not travel alone

Suggestion criticized by advocates for placing burden of safety on passengers, not taxi companies

Whitehorse’s new emergency room slated to open in early January

40,000-square-foot building will be more efficient, officials say

Judge finds Whitehorse man not guilty of raping teen in 2015 after second trial

Judge Raymond Wyant found Jackie James Kodwat not guilty of sexual assault.

Whitehorse’s sidewalks are a deathtrap

In the interest of safety and simplicity, the city should just plow the sidewalks

Police, coroner investigating suspicious death in Pelly Crossing

Investigators have ordered an autopsy, which will take place in Vancouver Dec. 18

Two Yukon projects shortlisted for the Arctic Inspiration Prize

Projects from Whitehorse, Carcross up for cash

Lower Post, B.C., man suing Yukon RCMP over assault allegation

Suit alleges man ended up with ‘ended up with bruising on his arms, biceps and chest’

Yukon needs a better plan for long-term care

The government can find solutions if it has the will. Does it have the will?

Hard travel over the Yukon’s winter trails

The overland trip to Dawson City today is a cakewalk compared to a century ago

Globalization infiltrates the Yukon’s recycling bins

You’re going to have to do a better job sorting your junk or else China won’t take it

Driving during the holidays

It’s hectic on the roads at Christmastime

Whitehorse council chambers needs new audio-visual equipment

‘More than 10 people’ watch city’s televised meetings

Most Read