An ambition to lead a quiet life

I appreciated this rather unlikely article in the Observer weekend section, less for the specifics, and more for the general principle of the value of simplicity and working  with your hands. It is about a Danish academic who left his profession to become a sheep farmer.

The manual labour and round-the-clock responsibility for his flock absorbed him: he thought less and less about himself, improving his mental health by weaning himself off the need for praise, and coming to live in the present – that holy grail of 21st-century states of being.


It reminds me one of my favourite bible verses,

Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and work with your hands.


And of Ruskin who observed…

“We are always in these days endeavouring to separate intellect and manual labor; we want one man to be always thinking, and another to be always working, and we call one a gentleman, and the other an operative; whereas the workman ought often to be thinking, and the thinker often to be working, and both should be gentlemen in the best sense.”


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