(10 pm. – promoted by ek hornbeck)
There could be a point, a moment in which you look around your home. There are perhaps pictures or paintings hanging on walls. Pots and pans in the kitchen. A dozen pair of shoes and rows of hangers holding shirts and pants in a bedroom closet. Not to mention assorted potted plants. Lamps. Shades. Nicknacks. All that infrastructure. All those things . . .
Anyway. That point, that moment could happen: looking around your place and it all goes funny. It hits soft, at first, this simple thought: maybe… maybe it’s all a bit ridiculous. Slightly absurd. The idea that a thing could hold value. Have meaning. Or stir memory.
It goes further. I’m in a wheel upon which I run. The wheel keeps turning because I keep running on it. I can’t stop running. Actually, I don’t know how to stop. Or how to get off the wheel. I don’t think I’m trapped. In fact, I think I’m free. And yet, I can’t get off the wheel.
I do things and have no real insight as to why I do them. Why do I have to go to work every day? Why do I have to own a couch or a dishwasher or lots and lots of shoes. Why do I have to drive a car? Am I more entitled to these kinds of amenities than say tribespeople in Africa or Iraqis or anybody else anywhere? Do I think I’m more entitled without even being aware I’m thinking such things???
I guess, for me, issues like health care, environment, abortion, et al … whatever… are kind of like those pictures on the wall. They are things that fill agendas, rather than rooms. But what is at the heart of any of these issues? Why are we so enthralled or entangled or enraged? Just other wheels to keep spinning? Yet, I really do think it is possible to greatly improve our lives. Through peacefulness. Motivation to transform the world based on love of it rather than fear or hatred of others.
However, I don’t think solving issues, per se, can improve much for many. Take, for example, my favorite issue: health care. For whom? In a world of 7 billion plus people, for whom is that really an issue? Most of us earthlings don’t have access to healthcare, not to mention just some potable water. Take, for example, the distribution of mosquito netting. Solving that one “issue” doesn’t solve the complex layers of problems that include access to safe drinking water or, hey, just access to any water, fair trade, sustainable farming… and on and on and on.
For me, it comes down to finding some way to implement structural changes to our thinking… the way we think about the world in which we live. How do we engage? Can we scale our actions and choices as they relate to and impact a world of billions of other earthlings? What are our processes? Do those processes reflect our value systems? Yeah. What are our values?
In so many ways, I’ve been running on that wheel to churn out cash to populate my life with stuff. I should have spent more time on the people in my life. I should have spent more time learning about the food I eat instead of accepting it blind, never understanding the suffering there. I should have been more attentive to how the oil got to my car. And the plastic in my closets. I didn’t really know. I took for granted that this was normal. That it was all okay. I just did things without really asking why or how.
I’m middle-aged and maybe caring now is just a show. I’m on my way out, so maybe it’s easier to ask the young people to suffer for the choices I’ve made. Like I said, I have no real insight as to why I do what I do.
Anywayssssssssssss… issues. Sun spots and green house gases. Who gives a shit? The point is, how do we live on this globe? How do we do it fairly. Whether there’s climate crisis or nothing but lovely green fields ahead. Good or bad. How do we decide to do this life thing. That’s the question. There’s the depth of it. Are we a species with limited scalable thought? Or can we plug ourselves into something broader and more ethical? Will we always allow those who behave like rats on cocaine to run our world? Will we?