Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Choose The Positive

I feel the need to follow up on my screed below, It Ain’t Pretty. Some of the feedback, both in comments and email, has given me the impression that some may think the situation is hopeless and that we are all doomed regardless of our choices in the ballot box. While I was trying to be realistic and firmly believe everything I said in the post I am not giving up. On the contrary, I believe that the better we understand the position we and the rest of the world are in the more effectively we can make the changes needed to secure a better future for us all.

We can see the enemy and yes “enemy” is the correct word. The sad truth of the matter is best acknowledged by repeating the most famous of lines from Walt Kelly’s brilliant comic strip Pogo "we have met the enemy and he is us." Yes, we are the enemy but we are the saviors as well.

All of the problems and challenges we are facing are the result of our own failures as responsible participants in the dance of life and as such can be corrected by addressing our failures.
The good news is that we are already seeing the tide shift. More and more of us are taking to heart the knowledge that we are not just individuals “doing our own thing” but instead part of a greater whole. There is increased awareness that our individual small actions of waste are each contributing to the degradation of our environment. More and more of us are recycling, looking for local food and organic options at the market. More and more of us are seeing that the war, aggression, poverty, lack of health care and hunger affecting any of us is affecting us all. We are beginning to recognize that each of us is part of a larger world and that what affects one affects all. We are beginning to understand that the gospel of man’s dominion over nature is a lie and that man is directly and intimately connected to the world and that ignoring Gaia and our connection with her is done at our peril.

So, yes our country and our world is currently being ravaged in the ever increasing search for growth at all costs. Our lives are slowly being poisoned by the global corporations in search of short term profit, the legacy be damned and yes our leadership and our government is very nearly wholly owned by these same corporate masters. But, again the good news is that we are becoming aware of exactly how we are being used and abused by these global hegemonies and it is much to their chagrin that we are. We are coming to realize that we are letting them lead us to ruin and we are beginning to look and find ways to cheat them of their dominion. We let them lead us this far down the road to doom but we do not have to continue to blindly follow. Each of us has dozens of chances each day to strike out on a different path. Each of us has the ability to say no every time we are asked to take a step down the path to our own destruction. You can say no to war. You can say no to continued dependence on oil. You can say no to continued subsidies to giant agribusiness. You can say no to the refusal to address national healthcare. You can say no to every item in your grocery that is full of High Fructose Corn Syrup and the hundreds of other manufactured poisons that we are being told is food. You can say no to the beef, pork and chicken in the grocery that has been tortured and poisoned so that you can have cheap and unhealthy meat.

The giant corporations that are killing us and imprisoning us with our dependence on unhealthy food, useless products, clothes made with slave labor in some foreign country by our brothers and sisters and tying us to them with a dependence on cheap energy live by your dollar and nothing else. Deprive them of their source of power and we will win the battle for our future and free ourselves in the process.

We have been fed a giant lie and we have bought it completely. It is a lie that we can continue to grow, continue to consume with abandon and not pay a price. Our planet can sustain us all but not at an ever increasing pace of consumption and waste. We have to find the balance and it will demand from each of us some sacrifice. It will not, however, demand us to sacrifice peace, our humanity, or our place in the universe. We can live within the limits the universe sets on us but we do have to make the choice to do so.

So the last word is vote. Not only at the ballot box but in every choice you make each day. Choose to say no the status quo. Choose to say yes to change for the better. Choose the positive. Finally, remember always that if it wasn’t food when your Grand Mother was a little girl then there is a good chance it is not food today.

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