I am reading Walden by Thoreau. Some lines that struck out for me tonight were:
"The farmer is endeavoring to solve the problem of a livelihood by a formula more complicated than the problem itself. To get his shoestrings he speculates in herds of cattle. With consummate skill he has set his trap with a hair spring to catch comfort and independence, and then, as he turned away, got his own leg into it. This is the reason he is poor; and for a similar reason we are all poor in respect to a thousand savage comforts, though surrounded by luxuries."
It's poignant yet quite simple. If you look at the essence, it's quite ironic that a farmer would be poor even in terms of food. Yet we see that all the time, throughout the world. From Timbuktu to Kathmandu to Mississippi.
For that is the farmer's business, the production of food. Yet he is in poverty of the very thing he so toils in.
Thoreau rightly points out here that the farmer is trying to over-complicate the problem of his livelihood. Why only make corn? Or only soybeans? Or Oranges? With the land, toil to make food for oneself and the family first then go to the market and beyond.
Now, the fair thing to do is apply this same principle on one's thoughts. Where has one trapped one's own leg, when the trap was meant to catch comfort and independence for oneself?
I would not be surprised if you looked at yourself deeper and further, you would find at least one. Every day.