On a macro scale ... on a micro scale ...                                           how are we fairing on this beautiful planet of ours?                          ________________________________________________________

        Look Around * ASSESS THE SITUATION RIGHT WHERE YOU LIVE * 

  "The most fundamental aggression to ourselves, the most fundamental harm we         can do to ourselves, is to remain ignorant by not having the courage and the              respect to look at ourselves honestly and gently."   Pema Chodron  
       ________________________________________________________________            
    Break it down:  What does your daily life look like on                        the most basic, fundamental levels?

    * Is your food delicious and nourishing, or mostly empty calories?
   * Do you enjoy your meals or rush through them distractedly?
   * Where does your food come from?
   * Is it sourced locally? Regionally? Or from 1000's of miles away?
   * How is it grown and processed? naturally ... organically?
   * Or industrially, with an abundance of pesticides and chemicals that leach into our watersheds and work they're way into the food chain?     

   * Are you glad to be alive?                                                                     * Do you feel loved and supported? 
   * Is your work meaningful and satisfying ?
   * Are your children & grandchildren growing up with a sense of integrity     & wonder? 
* How's your overall health? 
    
    * How energy efficient is your lifestyle?                                                   * How much gas does it take to drive to work & do your errands?               * How much energy does it take to heat/cool your house? An energy audit can lead to making changes that will save as much as 30% on your utility bills and reduce your CO2 emissions by 9,515 lbs a year. 
               
 
    * How much garbage do you generate in a week ?
    * Where does your sewage and trash go once it leaves your house?  
     * What's your impact on the planet? One of the best carbon    footprint calculators can be found at www.earthlab.com/carbonprofile

     * How about the air you breathe and the water you drink ... is it safe             and clean?  
     * What's the source of your drinking water?                                              * Can you describe its path from precipitation to your tap?     

      * What are the sources of pollution where you live?

            

       * What do you know about your bioregion?

      * What are the primary species in your area ... the indigenous trees              and plants, birds, bugs and critters who live all around you?

      * How are these local plants and animals fairing? Are their numbers in          decline, stable or on the increase?

      * What are the typical weather patterns in your area?                          Are you experiencing more severe weather?                                              When are the times to plant, forage & harvest? -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


                                                                                 
All around the world - rich or poor - we all have the same basic needs.
Everyone needs clean, healthy food, air and water.
We need clothes and shelter to protect us from the elements and keep us safe.
We all yearn for love, friends and meaningful work. 
If we're not getting these basics right, then literally everything else is messed up to                           one degree or another. Because it's all intertwined.
   
                         

   So let's have the courage to take a deeper look at our culture. What works and what doesn't?
   How can we change age old beliefs that put the needs of a few above the rest of humanity?

 Certainly, in these troubled times we must rethink our economic system, which is based on a belief in                         continual growth and profit. No system grows and grows without eventual collapse. We are still subject to               the rise and fall of nature's seasons and cycles. Our desire for continual growth is fueled by raping the earth,             digging ever deeper, burning more fossil fuels, and altering the climate. Rather than focusing on profits,                       corporations should exist to enhance the well being of all. If they have a healthy business model, they'll               profit naturally.

           Our most basic, day-to-day lifestyle choices are our real world politics. What we eat, the miles we drive                                 and fly, the things we buy � these all impact the planet to a greeter or lesser degree.                                                             Unfortunately, we're making choices that pollute the planet, and require the use of vast natural resources                              from our own lands, and from foreign lands that aren't ours to exploit.

                   But hey - please - let me acknowledge here...                                                         HOW VERY DIFFICULT IT IS TO SORT THIS OUT & MAKE GOOD INFORMED CHOICES !

  • Because we're born into an economic culture based primarily on profit and ruthless competition.  
  • Everything has been super-sized - our homes, offices, stores, cars, roadways - everything! 
  • As we've become increasingly urbanized, we've become divorced from nature and natural thinking. Now               that most of us live in cities, this enormously complex, energy-sucking infrastructure seems normal to us.                   
  • There's an unholy alliance of power mongers  - corporate - political - media & religious - who are perfectly                   happy to see us drifting away from nature, community & family ... making it that much easier to tweak and                   alter our personal and cultural values.

                                                              

           *   shopping is patriotic   *   greed is good   *   we wage war to bring peace  *

An unprecedented amount of time, money and energy is pumped into turning us into unquestioning, complacent cogs in the wheel. We are indoctrinated from birth onward with the idea that we are here to buy the latest, greatest toys, cars and doodads. Shop til you drop ... it's woven into every fiber of our culture.                                                                    

                       We are all, to one degree or another, enthralled and intertwined with this
       mega-super-high energy-entertainment-capitalist-consumer lifestyle.

So much of the media and advertising we're exposed to is a form of propaganda, designed to make us             good little consumers / good little citizens. And today, more than ever, it's delivered with a wink and a                 nod that appeals to our desire....

                               .... to be COOL, to be HIP, to be on the CUTTING EDGE.

                                                          

                              check out the award winning 2002 BBC documentary - "The Century of the Self"

 http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/the-century-of-the-self   Learn about Edward Bernays - an early proponent of propaganda, and the "engineering of consent". Bernays was a literal mastermind, who worked with politicians and corporate heads to mold modern cultural beliefs.  He crafted the "necessary illusions" to help keep the "dangerous and irrational" masses under control.   Using his uncle Sigmund Freud's understanding of the unconscious, Bernays helped shape public opinion in support of  World War I, helped the CIA overthrow democratically elected leaders in the Third World, and created the idea of "brand loyalty." (Jeffrey Kaplan - May/June 2008 "Orion"

AND NOW, ALL THESE DECADES LATER, THE KNOWLEDGE OF HOW TO MANIPULATE THE UNCONSCIOUS MIND HAS BEEN WELL HONED AND PERFECTED TO A TEE!

             

Fortunately, our awareness of the way media constantly shapes us, helps us to throw off its shackles.   

               Unplug !    Divest Yourself from this Out of Control Juggernaut.

                                

Because really, what does it matter if you have the latest high definition TV, if your energy is drained by the toxic formaldehyde that's off-gassing from the carpets and furniture in your home and office ?
   
          So what if we're free to choose from a multitude of sugary treats, when their daily consumption leads                                     to tooth decay, obesity and type 2 diabetes?

          "What is the good of having a nice house without a decent planet to put it on?"
                                                                                * Henry David Thoreau *

                                                                                                      

                                   We need to step away from this MADNESS and create a more                                                                           cooperative and natural, loving and ethical culture.

                                                       It's what our hearts want.

              It's what nature needs from us, if we're going to continue living here on Earth,
                         .... and I know of no better Planet out there in the Universe.

                                               Let's take care of this one.
                  Let's live our day to day lives as if it all matters, because really it does.

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