Sustainable Living

We have the pleasure and privilege of being alive today because our ancestors thought about our well being and lived in such a way as to preserve and nurture the natural systems necessary for this well being.

Unfortunately, we have reached a step in our cultural evolution where we do not care about the unseen future ones; mainly, we are concerned about what we can get for ourselves, right now. We do not do this because we're evil beings bent on decimating the planet on which we live. We only do this because we are scared; we are scared because fear is the primary tool of control for those who are scared of losing control (I won't expand on this subject here; for a good explanation you can read In Search of the Primitive by Stanley Diamond). And when we are scared it is natural to just think about our immediate survival by hoarding resources for ourselves. The problem is that this fear feeds on itself in that each generation takes for itself what should be the next generation's gift, so that each generation is given less and less and, therefore, is scared of losing more and more. This inevitably leads to more fear and more hoarding of resources. And this is where we are right now: scared of who we are, scared of what will happen in the future if we keep on going like this but also of what will happen if we don't.

The problem is worse yet because in our blind fear we have closed our eyes to the consequences of our actions. We have implicitly agreed to rob not only the next generations to be born on this land, but also the present generations living just out of sight. We have exploited the people of the world, enslaved them, made them work to feed our insatiable appetite while they are struggling for their own survival. Both humans and non-humans are now paying the cost for our culture's madness, resulting in political upheavals, environmental degradation and, of course, more fear. Again, we're not doing this because we're evil. We're doing this because we were born in this system, because we've been socialized for years to just accept the status quo, because it's easier to close our eyes rather than facing what needs to be done to change the state of affairs, because we're scared of what would become of our own standard of living if we complained too much about that of others.

But after being made aware of what is happening in the world because of us, after spending years de-socializing myself so I could spend more years learning to see with new eyes, I had to say the words made famous by, notably, the Zapatistas: ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! I do not want to be responsible for other people's struggle; I do not want to be responsible for the degradation of our life systems; I do not want to spend my life in a box working at meaningless tasks; I do not want to despair at my apparent inability to make things better. I want to be happy. I want to be proud of who I am and what I do. I want to be respectful and respected. I want to live honorably. I want to honor the gifts given to me and pass them on to the next generations. I want to live sustainably.