What I Buy and What I Buy Into
I have too much. My overwhelming feeling about my trip to Honduras, and one I did not expect is that I have too much, more than I need, and I am very lucky.
The thing is, I live my life in a decidedly simple way. Most of my clothes are hand-me-downs or purchased in second-hand stores. Many of the gifts I give are pieces of art made by myself or by local artists. I don't own or use a car. I don't own or watch a TV. I understand that voting with my dollars is far more powerful than voting ever will be. Still, I see how little people live on, and I can't help but put myself in that context. I can't help but wonder why there are people all over the world in this position. I can't help but feel ashamed that by my participation in the current system, I allow it.
I don't think it has to be this way. I don't believe that the world has to work so that some people have no access to clean water, operational infrastructure, or clothing. I don't believe that so many have to go without an education if they want it.
This is part of why I do what I do. I don't like the way the world operates. I don't like the way the powers that be have set up the system to overfeed the few and starve the many. I don't like that some people are crushed under the wheels of what we call progress. It is bullshit and it has to stop.
I personally believe that happy people, people who truly love themselves and are satisfied with their lives, would not participate in this type of economic system. It might be naive, but I know from my own history that when I am happy, I am kind. When I am confident, I help. When I feel love, I have endless compassion.
So why are all these people who run things doing this shit? Can they be that unhappy? Can they be that fearful? Can they be that out of touch with themselves? Can they be that unaware that what they do or allow, the shittiness they participate in or help to support fucks so many people over, so that they are so desperate they do desperate things? Can they be blind to this? Or do they want it this way? And why are we allowing it? Do we all really believe that this is just the way the world works?
I grew up just outside of Chicago, during a time when The Projects there consisted of tall, run-down buildings in the poorest, most desperate parts of town. These building had open-air hallways on the outside of the buildings, not the inside, as it is with most apartment complexes. Chain link fences were all that kept people from falling or being thrown to their deaths. My parents taught me that The Projects were created to marginalize, to keep a certain portion of the population down, so they would perpetrate crimes against each other, so the population there would eat itself alive.
This is what the people in charge do all over the world. This is what they have decided is best for our human society, to feed the military industrial complex with able bodies and the prison system with broken ones.
The endless wars, the dying world, the people going to schools and public places, blowing shit up and killing people, they are all a product of the desperation the people in charge want to create. These are all symptoms of a sickness called greed.
I have had enough of this. It just isn't the world I want to live in and I don't think I should have to. I don't think anyone should have to.
But there is help. There is hope. There is a way to not participate in this system, to starve it, to step on its neck and cut off its air. There is a way to help people instead of crush them. There is a way to stand with people, not on them, and like everything else in life, all it takes is a decision to not participate in the current system. A decision to go through your life considering what you do and how it affects others. How what you do affects your own life, your own body, your own soul.
People all over the world are starting to see that the system we have been told is normal, rational, and reasonable, is actually a violent form of lunacy. Some are responding violently, some are responding peacefully, and some are doing nothing.
I am doing what I can to change it. I am doing what I can to not be reliant upon the dominant paradigm. I am doing what I can to not participate and show that there is another way.
What are you doing? This is not meant to guilt or shame anyone, but to instill a sense of responsibility. We are all responsible. We can all do something to change this.
I am not sure if I will write as directly about this stuff in the future as I have today. But for those of you who follow me, for those of you who take the time to read my blog, I hope to communicate that I do it because I want the world to change. I want to inspire people to be greater than they thought they could be. I want the world to operate as if people matter.
People are not consumers.
Corporations are not people.
The Planet is not an endless resource from which we can take whatever we want without putting any care back into it.
You can be better. Do not let anyone convince you otherwise. You have been taught to think less of yourself by people who were also taught to think less of themselves. You have been taught to think little of yourself because you are more easily manipulated that way. But you are great. You are powerful. All you have to do is recognize that, to acknowledge it.
Then, do something about it.
Happy Black Friday.
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