I know I’ve written about this before but tonite, I was
at a gathering where we were defining and discussing our country’s evils when someone asked,
once again, but “what can I do about it?”
I did not respond with my normal
either 1)“that is not really the whole question you are asking” – the whole question is what can I do WITHOUT
changing my life style, WITHOUT it costing me too much, WITHOUT having to stop
my life-as-usual or sacrifice anything; or 2) that is not really the question –
the real question is “what to I WANT
to do about it?
Instead I decided to directly
answer that ‘can’ question and began listing the concrete things we
could/should be doing:
Never buy anything new (except toilet paper
Only buy organic – if you can’t ‘afford’
organic, you can’t afford to buy it
The least we can do is recycle (which of course
begins with not buying things that are containers needing recycling or throwing
out), conserve resources
Grow your own food organically (of course,
especially including seeds)
Make connections, conscious choices where you
spend your money: NO corporate buying (including fuel, food, etc.); support
womyn especially with children, men of color
Share your resources, privileges, access to
Get rid of ‘things’ around your home, in your
Open your living space to others, live
cooperatively, live where you can walk to what you need
Make money doing something you love, something
meaningful, something sustainable, something that does not contribute to the
genocide of people and destruction of the mother earth
Spend a minimum of three hours a day doing
actions working for change
Meet with your critical thinking/action
community group weekly to really develop and this list, while we figure out
together how really to work together for change
Which then brings us to what do I
WANT to do?
And who can blame us for not
wanting to change our lives as usual? After all, we are ‘told’ – inundated,
hammered over the head, reminded in every book, every lesson, every moment of
our waking lives really – that we need a career, a house in the country,
children, success as measured in how many things we own, etc.
We are taught not only that we
need these things, but that we deserve the things we get, that we have somehow
worked hard, studied harder, and are the ‘special’ people who are granted the
knowing that we will obtain the security of stuff.
But perhaps the biggest ‘disservice’
at best, destruction of our humanity closer to the truth, is our shared belief
in this country that it is not only okay to have more then others, but it is desirable
as well as deservable.
Few want to own that we have
whatever we have because this country is carefully shaped to ensure what
everyone has (or doesn’t have).
Fewer still want to own that
EVERYTHING we have in this country, we have because of killing people, enslaving people, occupying and stealing other people's lands and lives - and we continue doing the same. We are currently attacking at least 6 countries in the world, have over 1000 military bases that we know about, and spend as much on our military as every single nation TOGETHER spends on their militaries.
Even those of us who live 'frugally' or consciously, still have access to the empire, whether we like it or not: the asphalt on the roads, the access to food 24/7, electricity - etc.etc.etc.
I say this not to encourage depression or helplessness or futility - but to inspire us into ACTION; for it is only when we ACT against war, militarism, all the isms that we will find true wealth, true peace, true spirituality, our true paths.