Simple Liberty  



Reflections From The Front Porch


Written by Darrell Anderson.

Sitting on the front porch has become a lost art the past few years. I don’t only mean the old ritual of families spending warm summer evenings on the porch conversing and reminiscing, or watching the kids do somersaults and flips and spray each other with the water hose — although that tradition certainly is disappearing too. I mean just sitting on the front porch and letting life pass by without resistance.

Because of my rural settings people sometimes ask me what I do “to stay busy” and occasionally I tell such people I sit on my front porch. “And do what?” they ask, expecting a feel-good answer like, “Watch the birds,” or “read good books.” However my response is that sometimes I sit on the porch swing, sometimes on the porch. Sometimes I sit and think, and sometimes I just sit. You might have noticed that dogs are front porch experts.

This is a book about many topics, a collection of front porch musings. I don’t pretend to provide answers. One reason for me writing this book is I have no answers to many questions. Sometimes that is frustrating, sometimes not. Therefore I write, in the hopes that through such a process I might better clarify what I think or believe — at least to myself.

Another reason for writing is to encourage other people to think. You might not have a front porch, so use your apartment balcony. Or find a quiet spot in the park. Long walks often succeed too. I figure I probably am not the only one who has questions and no definite answers. I might be wrong about a lot of things, but that hardly means there is no place for thinking or asking questions. I want to encourage a world of discourse and discussion.

Some people willingly refuse to discuss and entertain ideas and other possibilities. Therefore, I expect people to disagree with my ideas. That’s okay; this is a big world and there is plenty of room for more than one opinion. Of course, some people disagree and believe there should be only one opinion — theirs. Sadly, lots of conflicts and wars start that way. Being unwilling to share ideas means a permanent division from other people.

This collection of essays is not an academic effort; that is, you will find no footnotes, references, citations, etc. Many of my ideas were derived from the thoughts and ideas of other people and in an academic project those sources would be properly cited and identified. That is not my purpose here. This book is not expository but merely expressive and exploratory. In a way this book is a journal of thoughts and contemplation; and the source, derivation, or prompting for my thoughts are of secondary importance. If you expect the obligatory line that I accept all responsibility for errors and omissions in this book, well, forget that. This is a book about ideas and ramblings; thus, there can be no “errors.”

Don’t think all I have written here was derived from my front porch. I admit that some ideas were conceived in that little room in the middle of the house that everybody uses. Similarly, you might think some of my ideas deserved to stay there, with the overhead fan running full speed. Oh well, turn the page and let us see where my wanderings take us.


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