Seldom do people question their world views. Most of us just absorb what our parents have taught us and never really think about where our assumptions come from.
As I’ve been documenting here, my entire world view started shifting when Katrina happened, so I’ve been groping my way towards some kind of truth since 2005. It usually takes something major to get people to volunteer for pain, and it is usually something personal, like a death or divorce, to unstick or unfreeze people out of their day-to-day ruts and routines. I’m not really sure why Katrina had such an affect on me since I don’t live in the area and never have, but there you go….one of life’s little mysteries.
Our world views affect pretty much everything, from our political views to how we live. If you accept the construct you were given at birth, life can be pretty smooth.
Industrial civilization is the construct. We are human beings who own the earth and view it as our resource. We are entitled to do anything to it that we want to, anything that will make us more comfortable and more safe and less likely to think about our inevitable deaths. That is just so basic that we (especially the first world people) don’t even think about it. Only reluctantly have we even begun to entertain the idea that other species might have any claim to life.
We weren’t always this way. We didn’t always live the way we do now. This utterly energy dependent way of living is new. And it is devastating all of life on earth.
So how do we live differently? Well, I have also accepted that it is probably too late for any individual to make much of a difference. At 57 years of age, I have to realistically assess what I can and can’t do at this stage in my life. After living in suburbia my entire life, I’m not going to be able to grow my own food any time soon. But I can garden, I can plant things, I can spend the last part of my life immersed in nature. I can choose not to fly. I can choose how I consume, what I consume, how much I consume. Will it change anything? Probably not. I still have a conscience and values that mean something to me, so I can live with contradictions.
We’ve been looking in a whole new state for our dream homestead. We’ve found a property that we like very much and so I asked family members to check it out with us again, to get other opinions and insights and suggestions. My family looks at me, I think, with bewilderment and affection, so I was delighted when they accepted.
Everyone is in agreement that it’s fantastic and just what I’ve been saying I want, well constructed blah blah blah.
The number one drawback – according to everyone except me – is in its remoteness. We will have to drive 30 minutes to pick up a gallon of milk, or gas, or anything at all….and that is just the small town. Another 10 minutes is required before you hit civilization with all of the chain restaurants and familiar brands. That is very inconvenient, I agree. I’ve been reared on my need to have everything I want exactly when I want it. Going without? It’s just not done, my dear.
And what about a medical emergency? What if you have a heart attack or stroke? OMG, you could die!
But living in a cancer cluster where insecticides and pesticides and fertilizer is used freely….that is accepted unquestioningly because you can get milk in 5 minutes.
The closer you are to civilization, the closer you are to people and all of their needs for airports and highways and other noisy things and the less you hear birdsong or leaves moving or anything real. We really seem to believe that man made things are more real than the earth we treat with such disdain. I don’t believe that anymore, I can’t believe that anymore.
We think about how we want to live but never about how we want to die. I think that is worthy of thought, even though I know I can’t totally control how or when that happens. It doesn’t hurt to think about it, because it forces you to move backward in time rather than forward, and new perspectives are good, right?
If you could control it, how would you like to die? What would you be doing? Where would you be? Whom would you be with, if anyone? How do you feel about your life at its end?