Thursday, January 24, 2008

Walking Away

My last post was a rant about the system in this country. A well deserved rant, but a rant nonetheless. In this post I am going to continue discussing the last theme presented in that post: namely, the issue of walking away, or leaving the system we have set up and mainstream society.

I am not going to discuss at length the reasons why someone would want to do this. Our society has gone completely mad. Look around; the evidence is everywhere. Not only is the culture sick, but no sane animal befouls their own nest. We are forcing 200 species into extinction every single day. Is the sign of a healthy society? Being well-adjusted to a society that is crazy is not a sign of good mental health; quite the opposite, in fact.

When someone actively participates in a system that is wreaking destruction, one becomes an accomplice to and an accomplice in that system. When a well-meaning, sane, rational person sees him or herself participating in something awful, they have four choices: ignore the awfulness, stop it, stop participating in it, or rationalize their participation. Most of the people in the modern world who are remotely aware of world affairs choose the first option: they ignore the fact that something is wrong. The problems are too big for one person to stop all on their own. Of the handful of people that recognize the problems and refuse to ignore them, the vast majority find some way to rationalize their participation. “I have to drive to work.” “I have to fly for my job.” “I need to provide a good life for my kids.” They do this and then leave the question there, without examining the underlying assumptions and what they could to change those circumstances, much less working to change them.

The fourth option –to stop participating in the madness –is either rarely thought of, or quickly dismissed out of hand. No, I am not suggesting anyone go live in a hut in the woods –though that’s fine too. (But I’d like to point out that the average modern city dweller who did this would likely either come running back to the city with his/her/their tails between their legs or starve. I’d roughed it, and it isn’t easy!)

What I am talking about is a gradual, systematic ceasing of participation in all of those destructive activities that are destroying our world. And yes, this involves a change in lifestyle and some self-sacrifice –if trying to save something for your children and their children can realistically be defined as self-sacrifice.

You don’t have to change everything in your life at once. Big leaps are almost certainly doomed to failure. All you have to do is change one thing, and then one more, and then another. Baby steps are fine, but start. Do something. I don’t have to tell you what kinds of things you can do –there are plenty of guides out there. Just start. Now. For all our sakes. And more importantly, for the sake of all our children and the generations yet to come.

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OpenID helwen said...

Hey, saw your post at Archdruid Report (and I think you read Greenpa's blog also?).

Anyway, just wanted to say 'hi', and glad you're one of the folks who's trying to do something to move forward in such a positive way. My husband Lyle and I and a few of our friends are working in the same direction, of participating less in the craziness, becoming more self/community-sustainable, etc.

Hope your garden turns out well this summer!

2/07/2008 9:58 PM  

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