Lockley’s rules

by Charles on May 3, 2017

Shortly off to Skokholm, to make a serious start on the sea book. And so of course I’m reading Ronald Lockley. He’s magnificent. Here, from ‘The Way to an Island’ (Dent, 1941, pp. 123-124) are his two rules for living (articulated when he’d just left school), along with his comments:

‘[The rules] were simple: just two: (1) Be natural. (2) Be intelligent.
Under Rule (1) I amplified the instruction as follows: ‘Wear as few clothes as possible: rather thick and few than thin as many. Leave off your shoes and socks. Your hair your hat. Wash your body daily. Sleep always in the open air; sleep only to rest. Eat moderately the simplest food. Be happy; there has never been occasion for moroseness.’
And under Rule (2): ‘Appreciate, know, and love the ways of natural life. Speak only words of true meaning. Sneer not, but point out, not the mistakes, but the true way. Be moderate in thought and deed; smile, but do not laugh. Use your life intelligently; do not waste time. Think more and write less. Take sufficient unto the day only; be not over-provident. Harness no creature to the machines of man; it will lose caste.’

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