by Peaceful Warrior
It never ceases to amaze me just how much luxury we all currently have, both material objects and levels of longevity. Well of course that is not the case for the majority actually, though to us in the west it would appear to be the case. The real truth is that almost 80% of the world’s populations have very little of these commodities, and their lives are often cut prematurely short through hunger and disease. Kind of odd wouldn’t you say? That 20% of the people of the world have more than enough and may not even realise their good fortunes. A conundrum indeed, do we need more or do we need less (to share more)?
The undertones of the issue I see as the feelings of not-enough-ness: a supposed lack of ‘abundance.’ People seem to think that in having more (mostly material things) they will somehow escape the feelings of not being enough. The evidence is however, that many if not the majority of these poor souls never reach a point of satisfaction. They continually strive for more and newer gadgets and clothes and wealth.
Now, I am not here to criticize any of this. I simply wish to point out a few fundamental facts that may be escaping people and thereby direct others toward a different potential: one of peace, freedom, and avoidance of the outcomes of our current preoccupation (which their eventualities end in mental dis-ease and many other devastating physical health symptoms).
1.The items we strive to accumulate are intrinsically dead. They are lifeless, motionless, without animation, created by destroying that which is living. It is a type of necrophilia to be killing the living earth and creating lifeless gadgets and other material objects. No-one (not even me) would argue against that these items can have a beneficial purpose and serve us well. They are tools to give us ease of life and help us to be able to achieve many more tasks and objectives than we previously were able to achieve in our lives or certain time-frames. However, we all are aware of many things that we hardly ever use, but do very little about this if we are honest. We stick them in cupboards, attics, garages, sheds and containerized storage facilities, waiting for a day to use them that often never arrives. My grandmother had plates and crockery which I never actually remember her using. After she died, all that happened was that her family argued and fought over who got what. And, for what? So that they could stick it away in another drawer, cupboard or garage….
I hope that you see the point that I am trying to make. Billions of created (dead) objects are not even serving any useful purpose at all, except possibly occasionally reminding us of a loved one. We all know someone who’s house is so full of ‘things’ that their life is cramped and challenged by fear of someone stealing their dead goods. If we were actually using this stuff, then it wouldn’t feel so destructive and harmful to Mother Nature. But, we all do this: we take and we take and we give little mind to what the effects of our wanting/taking will have on her.
2.We really don’t need all of these things to have a happy life. Before they were invented, we managed. We made the best of our situations and got on with appreciating Nature, our natural environment, the beauty in it, and how to enjoy it. We knew how to enjoy gatherings with friends, shared meals, sharing of tools and equipment, resources and the abundance of Mother Earth.
An example of this:
In rural communities the farmers would employ the local people to produce the crops and when harvest time came, even the villagers whom usually had other jobs, businesses, pretty well all gave a hand to bring in the sheaves. This provided unity of purpose, a shared income, and meaningful work for many people.
When mechanised farming came in, farmers needed less farm hands, were able to create more product from less resources of labour and could create larger profits (the debate about profits/loss can go on all year, and I’m certainly not inferring farmers were/are greedy and therefore the cause of the suffering). But, people were the ones to lose out in this scenario, and also the earth. Because labour wasn’t needed so regularly, tractors, harvesters, ploughs, harrows and crop-sprayers had to be made; and, then, buildings to house them. (Have you also noted the amounts of old rusting rotting machinery there is laying around in farm yards/buildings? These could have long since been recycled).
3.The clothes, shoes, jewellery, ornaments, make-ups, perfumes, designer things, named brands and technology have all come at the cost of using natures stored resources, and not always in very environmentally friendly ways. I, too, like some of these items and get great satisfaction from having their service. But it bothers me, that we as a race, have not really considered the long term damages we have wrought in having these things. Our wants have overtaken common sense and reason. Our needs have given us almost no conscience for the results of this action. We need to see that coexistence and longevity as human beings and Nature is a fine line that cannot be crossed without huge impacts.
Many others, including myself, have actually been championing this issue for many years. The ways in which it has become so evident that we, human beings are causing the majority of our environmental problems is clearly documented in scientific studies and ecological research. Al Gore, Severn Cullis, David Suzuki, Friends of the Earth, and Greenpeace are amongst the main initiators of action being taken to rebalance this caustic behaviour. And others, like Mandy Peterson, Radical Routes, Abundant Earth Community, People for Ethics, Awareness, Community and Ecology (P4eace.com), Fellowship of IntentionalCommunities, Diggers and Dreamers (and the groups/communities and organisations they champion) and many more are all taking positive steps towards de-cluttering the earth of the materialism and its cruel harmfulness towards Nature.
As a warrior for change, and out of respect for Nature, I have cut down significantly on using carbon energy. I make more informed choices now with regards purchasing products (which, does not mean buying nothing), so that I can have a clearer understanding about how these actions have impacted on physical resources. I am not totally against people benefiting from creating items for people to use, nor in favor of suddenly closing factories. But, I am saying that I have seen other ways of providing things that have less impact on the planet and communities.
I also gave up collecting huge stores of material items and now I share the things I had previously and keep little more than what serves me daily. I don’t own a car either. That way I don’t need to impact our environment through using petrol (which these companies destroy and harm the planet more than most). I don’t need insurance (another largely greedy commercial enterprise), nor roads already laid. I ride a bicycle and walk everywhere I can, occasionally ride in a car or on a bus or train. I buy foods from local enterprises and check that they have sourced them from greener sources as much as is humanly possible. I work to support myself, which as I have little outgoings, is far easier than before. This gives me some free time to pay attention to the beauty all around me. In fact, walking is a fantastic way to see Nature and engage with it and reconnect with the beauty it shares for free. Traveling at speed means that we miss most of this engagement.
I recount the above measures I have taken merely to highlight what is possible and not to say anything heroic about these actions. It is far easier though to go with what everyone else does, but it would not be the right thing to do. As I have seen the benefits of this choice, I wanted to share the idea that I am helping to implement here in Lincolnshire. It is presently called the Abundant EarthCommunity. Please check out the google group, read the blog entries and share whatever you can if you feel the passion to help create sustainable alternatives for our futures.
Most of all, please remember, that you are enough; without all the trappings of the world and its greedy selfish negligence of the planet.
I AM ENOUGH..!
Love, peace, light an harmony.