Commodity vs. Community
I am a firm believer that all creatures have value. Sure, there are times when the mosquitoes won't stop biting that you want to wipe them all out. Much like the "butterfly effect" theory, we have no idea what will happen if that occurred (apart from far less itching and more successful picnics). For whatever reason, species seem to love themselves and man is no exception. We are an extraordinary creature, indeed. Sure, like the mosquito, some humans have a hard time justifying their existence to the rest of us, but that really isn't their job. The fact that we are here is enough to give us value. Each plant, animal, insect and, yes, IRS auditor, is of great value. When we value things, we give them special treatment. Our valued car gets washed and waxed frequently. Our valued friends get special attention above and beyond the norm. But in the day-to-day grind of life, values fluctuate like the pop music charts. Most churches believe that man was made in the very image of his/her creator. Yet we have no trouble sending them to their death in faux wars, electric chairs and when we need someone to do the dangerous work. We also have issues helping these sacred creatures secure the basics of life. You see, life isn't something to be lived to the fullest, it is a Darwinian competition with the smartest and fittest coming out on top. Like the lions I mentioned in yesterday's post, the strongest get to mate with the choicest specimens. The last gorilla standing gets to beat his chest. Isn't nature wonderful?
Still, with all the talk of evolution of species, natural selection and general learning, one would think we'd evolve a bit out of the swamp we've been in for so very long. We love to kill each other and we love to create scenarios where our tribe, team, clan or family is number one. We divide and sub-divide and sub-sub-divide into meaningful categories of being that allow us the most ego stroking and opportunity for celebration: Human vs. Animal, Asian vs. Caucasian, Male vs. Female, Gay vs. Straight, Christian vs. Hindu, Rich vs. Poor, Italian vs. Irish, Democrat vs. Republican, Healthy vs. Sickly, etc. If we can manage to secure more of those categorical victories than others, we win something. I'm not sure what, but I imagine it is awesome and causes one to "whoop" out loud.
When such compartmentalization occurs, we don't create real distinctions, we create real adversaries. There is "us" and there is "them". That leads to a world much like we have now. You have big fish and little fish. You've got winners and losers. We have world turned into a sport, at best, or a hunt, at worst.
I have a dear friend who, many years ago, was much less than a friend. We didn't hit it off right away and I found him to be crude and a bit too brash for my tastes. I didn't hate him, I just didn't take to him. That went on for years. Then a position opened up in my area and he was one of the people applying for the job. After all the interviews I hired him. He was the best person for the job. We worked together and started to get to know one another. I found out he was a sensitive, intelligent and kind person. I found there were some issues in his life that may have led to his behavior (that still exist in some form). We have since become very close. When I allowed myself to remove labels, preconceptions and prejudices (and, in the case of my job, my concern for remaining "on top") I opened up the avenue of communication that led to this wonderful discovery.
I don't have a neat little twist to make this all about Rebooting, but this is about food in general and community in particular. My concern is for all of us as humans. We all know the world seems to reward selfish and brutal behavior. We live in a world where we fear losing our jobs because that is the only way we can survive. The rules say you can't just go out there somewhere and live and not be part of the "system". You have to have an ID card, you have to pay taxes, you have to pay rent, and you have to have permission. If you don't have that you are homeless or worse. And, of course, we don't want that sort around here.
We need to focus on community over commodity. You are a human being, not a marketing demographic. You are a unique and valuable soul, not a target for Madison Avenue. You deserve to be treated well only because you are alive, not because you are beautiful, can run fast or are a genius. We have a government that feels it is not worth telling you if the food you are eating is genetically modified with fish DNA or even pesticides. We have a government willing to suspend rules for clean water, air and environmental damage for people prospecting for natural gas while causing health and environmental horrors everywhere they go. But if YOU decide you've had enough, you can do some things. You can get together with neighbors, friends and people you don't know. You can find a patch of land that is owned by the public. YOU are the public. You can ask for clearance to start a community garden. You go en mass. You grow food with each other and for each other because that is what caring humans do. You ensure the food you give your family (at least some of it) is grown with love and care rather than an eye for money. The more of you there are, the more food you can grow. You can get together when the food is grown and celebrate together. You build community this way. You build a better town or city this way. Start there and maybe begin a co-op. You keep politicians honest this way because they know you are organized. When the Reboot is over you still need to eat, right? In fact, you need to eat better than you've ever eaten. Regardless of how you do that (omnivore, vegetarian, etc.) you need good food. Part of the reason we all needed a Reboot in the first place is the crap they call food in this consumer-based system. We should be fed that which is good rather than that which is profitable. If you think the government will help, you are sadly mistaken. They are the ones who gave us the brilliant "Food Pyramid". Right, like that will help. But when you get together with people of like mind in your area, your energy will move you toward wonderful things. Good food should be cheap, plentiful and available to all. You, yes YOU can make that happen where you live if it is important to you. You can ensure that someone's Reboot from your town will include inexpensive and clean produce. I've been a member of a couple Community Supported Agriculture farms and found it wonderful. As I am also fortunate enough to have a small enough piece of land to do some things on my own, I can add to my great fortune by growing something in my own back yard. But really, it is all our back yard, isn't it?
|I am 40% through the 60 days.|
Weight: 149.2 lbs.
Food: Fruit/Veg Smoothie With Hemp Seeds