I had a really strange flash at an intersection the other day that was more than the light change. It was about consumption and that we, as humans, are all about depletion from dining on animals and plants to using up everything on the planet.
It was a terrible revelation: basically, we're takers and we're not independent (though we pretend to be). One of the few physical things we give is birth.
Yet, I don't think it's a terrible concept. It's the truth of who we are, why we are and, possibly, a reflective path for intentionally being more gentle and grateful in the world.
If you believe in a higher power then you may wonder for what purpose we are created in this way. Death is a part of the cycle of life in the literal and figurative senses and we do need to eat to survive. But must we gorge ourselves with little thought to life-sustaining creatures, grains, fruits and vegetables? This is where gratitude comes into play. Native Americans usually thanked their food source for giving itself up. I try to do the same when I remember.
Must we gorge ourself on the world's resources, gobbling them up so there's little left for others currently on this planet, let alone our children and grandchildren?
So many of our man-made constructs – cars, planes, buildings, machinery, etc – are at odds with nature, feasting on or contaminating what naturally occurs. It's arrogant of us not to recognize our usage, let alone offset it somehow. Just because we CAN, doesn't mean we should if its directly or indirectly detrimental. I'm afraid we lose sight of that with all the technology and advancement promises of speed and ease. These constructs also keep us busier taking care of them, doing more things because we CAN perform more quickly, thinking up more ways to be busier and faster.
What a vicious cycle.
I want off that roller-coaster. But our society moves on such a fast current, it takes an awful lot of intention and energy to paddle the other direction or merely jump off.
The good news is, we CAN.
And in the good news of what we can do, loving is the primary reason, I believe, we are here. It's one of the few things only humans can do. When we do it right, it really works.
What if we CAN focus on more minimally consuming and impacting AND loving. What kind of difference would that make?
• How have I considered the role of humans in the world?
• What personal measures I can take to be here more gentle and grateful?
• How can those actions encourage others?
• How tied am I to my stuff and the promise of easy and speed?
• How can I counteract that current for myself and globally?
to a very