Troy Cauley’s “Hindsight” – looking to the past for a future world
TEXAS: The following is an excerpt from an article by a man named Troy Cauley. It is titled “Hindsight” and was first printed in the Southern Partisan over 30 years ago. If one can appreciate anything beyond “modernity” as to life’s heart such as family, tradition, manners, love, friendship and at the same time cease worshipping gold, silver, technology, “industrial revolutions” and the Federal Reserve this excerpt is, while not an elixir, a wonderful description and a light salve for life as perhaps God meant it to be lived, as an on-this-earth flawed and sinful man.
This concept is for conservatives who truly “conserve” and understand characteristics such as Jeffersonianism’s heartbeat of localism and self- governing. Conservatism is not Ayn Rand and/or foreign wars.
God made His “chosen people” into twelve tribes—not a single “national” one.
When most people (I hope) look into their past, the locus and focus are on the home, the family. And to those kind memories that God has planted in us.
Now, enough of my babbling. Mr. Cauley from here:
“Technological progress in the past century has been outstanding in the field of transportation. Let’s illustrate it. When I was a small boy in central Texas (1930s) we lived about nine miles from the county seat, a town of three or four thousand people. In the fall we took a bale of cotton to town in a wagon. With a load of this sort, the team of horses walked about four miles an hour along the dirt road, thus taking a little over two hours for the trip. A short time ago (1980s) I flew from Texas to California in a 747 jet in about the same length of time. That looks like incredible progress. Let’s examine it more closely.
On the flight to California I saw virtually nothing of the country. From an elevation of 36.000 feet, all we saw were some weather-beaten clouds. Our seats were narrow and jammed together, but I visited with no one. Nobody showed any interest in me. I was in a crowd but it was a very lonely crowd.
On the trip to town with the bale of cotton, we visited with fellow travelers along the way. We exchanged hearty greetings with neighbors as they sat on their porches. My brother and I had the whole back-end of the wagon in which to roll, tumble and wrestle. We saw field-larks in the pasture and heard their cheerful calls. Bob-white quail thundered out of the bushes along the fencerows. Jackrabbits raced off for the cover of the post-oaks. The trip was a big success even before we got to town.
In a sense, of course, all of this is trivial. But in a broader sense, it is highly illustrative of a basic fact: human nature is better adapted in a simple technology than to a highly complex one. People cannot live happily in a society of bread and circuses, especially when the bread has little or no nutritional value and the circuses consist mainly of endless hours of television depicting violence, vulgarity, and unclassified stupidity. The movies aren’t much (if any) better. A large part of the use of alcohol and other drugs can be traced to a basic cause: boredom. Boredom bred of routine factory jobs, impersonal “personal services” jobs, watching spectator sports instead of participating in true play, “dating” with uninteresting and generally inadequate partners, driving to and from a detested job through ever-growing traffic jams; you can expand the list for yourself…”
Paul Yarbrough writes novels, short stories, poetry, and essays. His first novel. Mississippi Cotton is a Kindle bestseller.
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