March 14, 2008

The End of The Big Lie

The biggest lie of all: Consumption will make us happy
We have been lied to, and all the misspeaking and misdirection has created fear and confusion, as it is intended to do. Our basic human weaknesses have been exploited in order to benefit those that perpetrated, and continue to perpetrate the lies. And of course we have to look at our own individual responsibility, too. But the lies and propaganda are pretty persuasive.

Some classic fibs in my near 50 years?
  • Cigarettes do not cause cancer.
  • You need meat in your diet.
  • Burning fossil fuels can't have an effect on the vastness of the atmosphere.
  • We can never cut all the trees or catch all the fish because our forests and oceans are just too vast. 
  • Plastic is a benign substance.
  • A family can't live on a single income.
  • Animals have no feelings and feel no pain.
  • You can only marry someone of the opposite gender.
  • Everyone has to work full time.
  • People that don't have kids are weird.
  • Vegetarians are weak.
  • Life is getting better as we get more stuff.
  • Real estate always goes up.
  • Climate change is not happening.
  • Corporate rule will benefit us all, and government works for the betterment of society.
I am not buying any of it anymore. I'm not buying the lies or the stuff.

I am taking charge of my life. It is time to go back to how humans have lived across the ages. The emphasis going forward will once again be on a life light on possessions, and heavy on community-minded thinking. The days of "ME" and "MY STUFF" are coming to an end, and just in time. Our future survival will depend on doing things differently.

I am voluntarily conducting my life differently. I am cutting the number of hours I work. I am fleeing from the smog and bustle of the city. I am changing where I go, and how I get there. I am looking at my diet, my leisure activities, and my self.

Along with a reduced income comes a reduced level of consumption. And with reduced consumption comes a slower paced, more local, freer life style unencumbered with the superfluities of modern life.

I vow to do the least amount of harm to my self, others, and the environment. My wish is that others will be inspired by my example and undertake a similar quest to see how they might live more gently on this planet.