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Thursday, May 31, 2007

"The Seventeen Traditions" by Ralph Nader

I just finished "The Seventeen Traditions" by Ralph Nader and I recommend it. It’s not too political, it’s not too long (150 pages) and it’s about family. In fact, it has been said that it shows how Republicans don’t have a monopoly on "family values."

The book has a chapter for each of the traditions, such as listening, independent thinking, charity, patriotism, and civics. It’s very relaxing, with a long introduction just describing the small town where he grew up. I think we can learn from small-town life as we transition to Earth Community (and free ourselves from oil) as envisioned in David Korten’s book "The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community." Here, Nader describes how everything was within walking distance:

"It was a walking town. In those days, youngsters didn’t have to rely on Mama or Papa to drive them around. Nor were there school buses, except for the really distant rural homes. You walked. I walked. It was a good town for walking, with its tree-shaded streets, well-kept sidewalks, and access to just about everything for our needs, wants, and whims. Just a brisk walk away—no more than fifteen to twenty minutes—were the schools, the playgrounds, most of the homes, the town hall, the movie theater, the shops, the factories, the daily newspaper offices, the library, the historical society, the hospital and churches, police and fire departments, dentists, doctors, lawyers, the railroad station, the post office, the electric and telephone companies, and the county courtroom." (pp. 5-6)


At Fri Jun 01, 10:04:00 AM CDT, Blogger Ted Wong said...

For all the monotony of living in a small town the aspects I find most enjoyable are being able to get anywhere in town in fifteen minutes by bicycle. In the winter months when it's hard to manuever a bike through the ice and slush I can walk to work in about 25 minutes. We jettisoned one of our vehicles last summer and haven't had any real problems getting around. It used to be one car famlies were the norm. Now I look around and I think three car famlies have become the status quo. Kori and I have discussed the issue of teens and driving many times. She's of the traditional sense and thinks the kids should be driving around at 16. I think they should become adept at finding other ways of getting around (which is easy to do in a small town) before they become to dependent on auto transportation.

At Wed Jun 06, 10:41:00 PM CDT, Blogger Renegade Eye said...

The picture Nader is painting, seems a pcture of days gone by. There is a Walmart in that town by now.


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