A Well-Lived Life

"...a well-lived life means striving for personal, moral, and physical autonomy: self-direction, intellectual and spiritual independence, self-control, self-responsibility -- in sum, self-realization through self-determination. As a dues-paying member of this unintentionally masochistic minority, I can testify that the price of personal freedom and soulful individuality today -- the cost of living a self-determined life -- is often social, material, physical, and even geographical marginalization all of which can act themselves out in a big city as well as a small town or a rural homestead and must be construed as culture's punishment for being different. Or perhaps, as some will say, such are the just deserts of freaks and other sinners. Humankind, said Henry through its own inventions and lust for comfort is invariably driven to desperation. Misery loves company and the dominant culture, jealous of those who evade desperate angst, is never happy with mavericks, those of us who, even in the most liberal social realms, are barely tolerated." -David Peterson, On the Wild Edge: In Search of a Natural Life