Discover more from Marysville Sun
Friday, August 11 - 2023 Week 32
Good morning, Marysville. Sometimes your week is just like magic. And for the weeks when it isn’t, the Sun is here to add some enchantment.
☀️The Self-Improvement Racket
I have a soft spot in my budget for self-improvement books. I've read Getting Things Done a few times. I’ve read Peter Drucker himself, the man who coined the idea of “knowledge work” in 1959. I’ve considered Deep Work and Atomic Habits and Essentialism and What’s Best Next and plenty more. Publishers know there are a lot of suckers (me!) who would rather read about personal productivity than make actual personal progress. The genre regularly produces more racket than rewards.
But I've been reading a book this summer that was first published in 1741 titled The Improvement of the Mind by Isaac Watts (you might recognize his name as the hymn writer for songs such as “Joy to the World”). This article isn't necessarily a book recommendation, more of a riff on Watts’ principles for our polis, our city.
There is a lot to learn. We live in an amazing, wonder-filled world made by a faithful Creator. He gives good things, and we're to receive them with gratitude. He made us with minds, and with the capacity to discover and develop our thinking. We should increase our knowledge about God’s works. We should also increase our fruitfulness in good works.
Watts urged his readers to find and even concentrate on their weak areas so that they might be humble and then make progress. Most of the self-help books pumped out today urge the reader to find his strengths and double-down on those. And we do all have different talents; we are responsible to be faithful with the ones we have first. But first implies more to follow. There are other ways in which we should want to grow up altogether, that is, to mature as persons.
Churches ought to help here, teaching and training and equipping their flocks. In theory schools should help, but they won’t without a true standard. Of course there's a lot of information available to us online and still on paper, but there must be a desire in each man to get better.
This kind of betterment blesses a man's life, his household, his neighborhood, and his city.
It also makes John Adams' quote from 1798 as relevant as ever:
“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
What to Make Marysville Great Again? City improvements are not disconnected from bona fide self-improvements. Start with improving your own mind and morals, and imagine the magic that might replace the racket.
☀️A Non-Secret Garden in Smokey Point
by Joan Dabrowski
As I pulled into the Smokey Point Post Office, I was temporarily transported to an outdoor wonderland! Every bed that had previously been just compacted dirt and some bark thrown on top, had been transformed into flower beds bursting with color and a bit of whimsy thrown in. A curved stone path led me to a bird feeder while a gnome coyly watched the feathered friends feast!
I inquired inside who was responsible for this beauty and was informed it was a homeless man who asked if he might tend the grounds asking nothing in return.
I looked around outside and found Chris, our gardener who lives in his van.
“I do it just to make people smile - to bring them some joy,” he stated. “I get a lot of the plants from the garbage and then take good care of them. Plus I have a donation can if anyone cares to help.”
Well, the gardens certainly made me smile and props to the Post Office who allows Chris to use his gifts to bring beauty and delight to all who walk by. You should check it out!
3rd Street Farmers Market - only three Fridays left, including today, August 11, 2:00pm - 6:00pm. See the website - marysville3rdstfarmersmarket.com - for more.
All Marysville Garage Sale - Saturday, August 19, 8:00am - 5:00pm. For more info Follow the Facebook page or see the website - marysvillegsale.com - which will soon be updated with a map of all the participating homes. The deadline to be added to the map is August 16.
When the tape is just a tease: