Living principles

Hit and Miss #100

I often distinguish principle and practice.

It’s hard to know in advance how to act in a given situation; it’s much easier to decide why we’ll act. The former is practice, the latter principle.

As this newsletter carries on (into the three digits now!), and if you’ll pardon the indulgence, I’d like to acknowledge some of its underlying principles. They capture the themes I write about, driving my newsletter practice. Unsurprisingly, I can’t separate these principles from those of my life in general—this is me, in words.

In no particular order (and written in a second-person voice targeted only at me):

  • Ground yourself in your local. Whether local history, local shops, local politics, or the people at the heart of all three, make yourself of your place, as best you can. (A never-ending process.)
  • Make space for others. Literally: slide away in crowds, minimize your physical impact on the world, and so on. Figuratively, too: quiet yourself, elevate other people’s voices, and help others do their thing.
  • Focus on family and friends—preferably over food.
  • Surround yourself with who you want to be—through books and people alike.
  • Practice moderation in most things, most of the time.

Browsing the archive, most pieces speak to one or more of these principles. I’ll save you the links, and just thank you for following along every week. It’s a pleasure for me—I hope the same for you.

This morning, I sat on the riverbank for three hours, alone with bread, meat, cheese, and my binoculars. Nothing much happened, little came of it—there’ll be no further record of those hours beyond this paragraph. But it was an important morning for me nonetheless. Taking the time and space to be still as the world goes on around you—key to staying grounded.

All the best for the week ahead!