“Nature like a good householder throws away nothing of which anything useful can be made.” Aristotle, On the Generation of Animals
It is delightful to think that nature already does what I am supposed to be doing: be a good householder. What a gift it is to me that my calling, my challenge is to imitate and participate in a marvelous order already being enacted all around me.
What might appear as profligacy in nature—perhaps the countless dandelion seeds, or the showers of acorns—is in reality a well-measured abundance. Even generosity. Humans might waste seeds. Nature does not.
Everything in nature has its place. But we humans sometimes shape for ourselves things that really don’t belong. Then, we need to throw some things away.
There are many real needs to be fulfilled: our own, and others’. There is no call for extravagance, and no place for waste. But well-ordered generosity can be the measure in our homes, in our lives. As it is in nature.
Aristotle (384-322 B.C.), student of Plato, tutor of Alexander the Great, has been considered by many to be the greatest ancient philosopher.
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