Ah such luxury! I had to make a quick run to Santa Fe, actually to pick up some pills – it’s a long story, but nothing out of ordinary – only one more example of our loss of what we claim to be our “inalienable individual rights,” “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness,” and right now I’m thinking more about the luxury of staying overnight in a reasonably healthy motel.
At dinner, the tables were crowded, and I ended up briefly sharing with a couple from the West Coast who live in what they call the “last of the old-timey seaside villages.” The very last? Surely I was raised in a similar place. But now the place of my raising is covered in asphalt, and I have retreated to a basically unhealthy shack in the canyon — in an effort to enjoy good health.
The young people from the West Coast found it hard to comprehend that feeling healthy can be more important than having neighbors — or that it has become necessary for some of us to choose between the two lifestyles. They thought it was sad.
I guess it’s hard for most people to imagine that me feeling healthy, and their children BEING healthy is in conflict with their own desire to have the lifestyle they were raised to believe is — healthy.
I guess it’s the essence of being human, to be working together – as families and as human communities (ref community) to fulfill our common human potential. I remember that feeling. It explains why/how the “greatest generation” was great. Everyone working together toward a common goal. It explains why our leaders keep trying to make us believe we are in a war against one thing or another – to keep us fulfilled and working together under their control.
My father used to say, as often as possible, that our own “inalienable rights” end where the other fellows’ rights begin. But the results of his “Greatest Generation” reductionist ethic are sad, indeed. I am living in a canyon because I want to feel healthy; and our food, energy and communications have been taken over by the corposystem that is not primarily working together with us to fulfill our common human potential, but rather is teaching the youth to work for goals that are neither achievable nor sustainable. And the grandkids have not been taught to understand the difference between needs, wants, rights and the facts of life. And as a result it is now sadder than sad that we have reached the point where we must choose between our aspirations and the common welfare.
To be fair to the great-grandkids, my father didn’t see it either. He and others of the “Greatest Generation” worked very hard to bring the dream to all the people. A healthy lifestyle in which everyone has a right to basic medical maintenance resources and crisis treatment without discrimination. Everyone has a right to a source of healthy food to eat, healthy water to drink, and healthy air to breath. Everyone has the right to a healthy place to live and a healthy place to work, and a safe, warm and healthy place to spend the night. And “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness,” but in fact we have no right to these things unless we fulfill our obligation to them. I think most of our young people do know this. They just don’t understand how they are repeating and recycling the mistakes made by the Greatest Generation, and intensifying them by using the greater power of modern technologies.
In fact, our world now is far less healthy overall, in spite of all the work of my father’s generation, because we have been working for the common potential of humans — without regard to the needs of the greater community of the Biosystem that gives us our food, water, air and energy. What makes this a new problem is that we have now overtaxed the productivity of the Biosystem.
Until we understand this fact, all our efforts will make matters worse rather than better.
The couple I spoke with last evening do not have the healthy-living perks that my father’s generation tried so hard to give them, but they don’t know it yet, so maybe they are happy. The people on the internet who are screaming at the world because they can’t have whatever it is they want that someone else has – they do know something is wrong, but they believe it’s someone else’s fault and if they could only figure out who is to blame – what? They don’t even know what they want – they want someone else to give it to them, whatever it is.
Many people see the selfishness and greed all around them and they believe that the failure of the dream is caused by a failure of compassion. I disagree. I believe the failure of compassion is just another symptom of the failure of our reductionist ethic that builds human power but ignores the needs of the whole. The greater community of the Biosystem of which we are apart – the Biosystem that we require for our most basic sustenance (ref).
If we want to get together to grow a healthy human culture, then it will be necessary to screw up our courage and address the deepest CAUSE of our malaise, which is the relationship between Biosystem productivity and human consumption of resources. We must ALL work for two things at the same time – first of course we should use our own skills as best we can for our own welfare and the welfare of our human communities. That innate capacity is the glory of our humanity. But as we have seen through all the generations, if we do this without regard to the needs of the Biosystem that gives us sustenance, we will fail. Again. To succeed it is essential that we reduce the human “footprint” on the Biosystem, using any available humane technologies.
Many people believe that Healthy Gardening may be one way to achieve that kind of lifestyle. I agree, but only if we use our healthy gardening technologies to grow our understanding of how the whole biological system functions to stay to stay healthy. Whatever technology we pursue, be it gardening or something else, we must dedicate ourselves to — my health, within my healthy community, within our healthy Biosystem.
If we truly want to succeed, we must be very careful not to cause more harm than good with our good efforts. We must ALL address BOTH – the common human welfare, and the common welfare of Life itself, the Biosystem. There is no longer any other humane, sustainable way to work together for the common human welfare.
And now I will enjoy the selfish luxury of a strong hot shower after a warm night in a reasonably healthy motel – I expect they would rather I call it a resort — using soap that is healthy for me and for the Biosystem, before heading back to the canyon to prepare my soil for next year’s healthy garden.
This is Bare Bones Biology, a production of FactFictionFancy and KEOS radio 89.1 in Bryan, Texas.
The short version of this podcast can be downloaded at: http://traffic.libsyn.com/fff/Bare_Bones_Biology_227_-_Healthy_Living.mp3
http://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com On right side of page look under “chapter” and download the pdf