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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Life II

Better to read the previous post first as this one is simply an extension of that one.  The continuation of that concept of equality and treating all living things the same, of course needs to be accompanied by ways of doing this.  What this means is that life must become about conservation, simplicity, compassion, and patience, rather than extravagance, indulgence, and the self.  The drawback to this is that life becomes more complex as a person has to think about other things before they do things.  It means examining everything you do at all times and thinking can I do this in a more minimalist way?  You may have to take the time to get a glass and trap a spider or ant and release it outside, that you may have to get halfway down the stairs and realize that you have left the light on and go back to turn it off, that you should use cloth towels rather than paper ones.    Re-use the same glass all day, the same plate, blah blah blah, we've all heard the same arguments all along.  The trick to it is constantly having it on your mind, or at least in the back of it.  Can I be more efficient here, there?  I was chopping wood, I protected the insects I could.  At a public rest room, don't use the air or the towel after you wash your hands, dry it on your shirt, its just water.

We all live in the world we are born in to.  In most places today we almost certainly have to have cars, computers, food, etc to live, and we get these things in a myriad of ways.  But what we must to is to try to make it minimally intrusive on the world and lives we're surrounded by.  Find a balance with our lives and the liberty of all living things.  Life is a team sport, and we are all on the same side.

This line of thought is also far more complex and holds much more depth than the simple living things.  It is about identifying the chain of life and order of things.  If a light is left on, at what cost does this come?  In order to produce energy today there must be land area used and cleared, production capacities set up, transport facilities, workers and tools to do it all with, transformation infrastructure makes it all usable, circuit breakers, lights, bulbs, etc.  All of this production chain requires the same complex things.  Our economy is one huge production sponge.  It takes lives at every instant and with every addition to the production cycle.  In terms of space, movement, facilitation, and delivery.  The environment is being alterered and changed at each step.  Therefore, we must reduce our consumption, reducing our production, reducing the amount of space and resources we need to live.  This is not a new concept, conservation is at the heart of so many movements right now.  But it is important to understand that with everything you buy or consume you are taking something form the earth and it inhabitants.

We need to come to a new homeostasis with the earth and to balance our needs with its resources.  We already have to many people on the earth, and we are trying to develop all societies so that they can live a 'modern' life, with all the amenities.  The world however can not sustain this.  So what do we do?  We kill people in the developing world with our consumption and drive for resources.  Diamonds, rubber, oil.  When we try to create ethanol based bio-diesel from corn for our cars, the cost of corn goes up and some people can't afford food.  We are hurting people by our own desire and arrogance of the self, and perpetrating it with our own ignorant media and informational methods.  All living entities on the planet - plants, insects, bacteria, etc - are all affected by this.

This is really about a mental exercise.  It is never 'just' a plastic bag or plastic wrap, never 'just' better to take the short cut, but it is always an opportunity to make a difference, every moment, every day.  If you can leave a building by physically opening a door or using the electronic garage or handicapped door opener, which do you choose?  Open the door by yourself, its healthier for both you and the world.  If we conserve in our self consumption, our self production, and in all else we encounter every day, we can simplify life and help provide equal outcomes for all lives, on all levels.      

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