I saw the movie "Surfwise" last night. It documents the life of Dorian "Doc" Paskowitz, who left behind a successful medical career to adopt the nomadic life of a surfer - along with his wife and their nine children, all of whom lived and traveled in a 24-foot camper.

The children never went to school, adhering instead to Doc and his wife Juliette's doctrine of education - surfing every day, eating healthfully, and traveling constantly in order to experience other cultures and climates.

The Paskowitz's motto - "live clean, eat clean, surf clean" - particularly resonates now, with the onset of a new global awareness of sustainability. At one point in the film Doc says that he taught his children never to use anything more than they absolutely needed, because in doing so they'd be taking it from someone else. While it's not a totally practical statement, it's an expression of a very pure sentiment - that we should be mindful of the effects of excess on the planet and on our fellow human beings, and live as true to "need" as we can. A very good lesson to take into the new year.

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