SeedsandFlower

“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.

Originally posted at Bacon from Acorns

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John A. Cuddeback is a professor and chairman of the Philosophy Department at Christendom College in Front Royal, Virginia, where he has taught since 1995. He received a Ph.D. in Philosophy from The Catholic University of America under the direction of F. Russell Hittinger. He has lectured on various topics including virtue, culture, natural law, friendship, and household. His book Friendship: The Art of Happiness was republished in 2010 as True Friendship: Where Virtue Becomes Happiness. His writings have appeared in Nova et Vetera, The Thomist, and The Review of Metaphysics, as well as in several volumes published by the American Maritain Association. Though raised in what he calls an ‘archetypical suburb,’ Columbia, Maryland, he and his wife Sofia consider themselves blessed to be raising their six children in the shadow of the Blue Ridge on the banks of the Shenandoah. At the material center of their homesteading projects are heritage breed pigs, which like the pigs of Eumaeus are fattened on acorns, yielding a bacon that too few people ever enjoy. His website dedicated to the philosophy of family and household is baconfromacorns.com.