I just got off the phone with a close friend of mine from the end of high school and the first few years of college. We haven't spoken in some time, he's been married and is now divorced with a young daughter, but his is one of those voices that I think will always make me smile and bring back fond memories. But speaking with him also reminded me of how far I have drifted from the "expected" path, from the fairly typical path taken by someone of my generation in my location in the world. And it reminded me of how crazy I think that "expected" path is making people.
The lyrics of the song "Suspicious Minds" keep coming to mind, voiced by Dwight Yoakam in my head, "Caught in a trap, Can't walk out...".
Nearly all of my closest friends have succumbed to the modern western trap. I guess it should not even be called western anymore, since our style of insider capitalism has spread throughout most of the world. But I digress.
It pains me to see so many of those who have been close to me, so deeply attached to an unnatural corporate/industrial existence. They are programmed by their televisions and the billboards that are nearly unavoidable. They are jaded parents, passing on their habits (usually concentrated) to their children, guiding them right into their own little cages (complete with exercise wheel!). They mean well for the most part, yet it is too easy to remain asleep, to ignore the fact that they are constantly driven to commodify every aspect of life, down to the very basic needs.
And then there is the fact that "the system" is set up to punish those who refuse to take the bait, who refuse to stay in their cage. Certainly anti-social behavior, especially that which is inherently harmful or destructive, should be dealt with but we have obviously reached the point of ridiculousness. Anyone following the tribulations of the Ontario farmer who makes raw milk available to those who want it must surely agree that this point has been reached.
And if we have reached that point, perhaps we have already begun the long slow swing back towards common sense and balance. People ARE returning the land, perhaps at a more sustainable pace than was seen during the 70's. It is my hope that this will continue and even increase; that we will explore ways to use permacultural type techniques in order to allow a higher density rural population all the while managing impact on nature.
I sure hope that some of these dear friends of mine are able to find the strength make some of these priority shifts. I wonder if that is overly selfish of me.
2 weeks ago