I’ve been having an exclusionary argument, one that pushes U.S. independence from dependence on other countries. It could be painful, especially for the generations accustomed to being consumers rather than producers, manufacturers, farmers, fishers, teachers and learners of trade. I’m surprised I feel it’s a losing argument.

I’m confronted with particulars about expertise, education, experience, lack of resources, interest. I step back and ask why? Why can’t we stop paving-over good food-producing land and grow things besides buildings? Why do we need so much to be content? Why can’t we be happy with what we produce ourselves, learn to create that which we desire or need, and become craftsmen in demand by our fellow Americans?

When did we stop caring more about this thing I can’t explain? I’d not be devastated to lose all that I own to fire or flood; I’d pick up and start over, regardless if that means I cook in a coffee can and sleep in three layers of clothes to keep warm. So many Americans live in the city with no way to provide for themselves aside from a check, whether earned or supported by charity.

The industrial revolution changed us, how we looked at values, needs, wants. Progress has overtaken us and we’re falling behind for its sake alone. I might be happy to be corrected, but I don’t believe there’s much I can’t live without, there’s a whole Walmart full of things I won’t ever need, and my wants are very, very few. Perhaps, were I believer in reincarnation, I’d come back a full-blown hippie. A rubber-band would do me.


4 thoughts on “Sheesh

  1. Well Rene’, you’ve done it again. You always seem to be on a higher plane than me in your thought process. I’m not a minimalist, but I could certainly do without a lot of the stuff I have. The more you have, the more that you have to take care of. As I get older I have less and less energy to deal with it all. I have a house, a boat and a truck and all the stuff that goes with it and it’s sometimes overwhelming. I did the” doing without” for ten years at the farm and I can’t say that it was too much fun. I’d just like to find a balance. It’s kind of like what I’d heard from a television preacher once. She was talking about money and it made sense to me. She said-“spend some, save some, and give some away.” I think when we are blessed with an abundance, we have an obligation to help those who don’t have what they need to get by. As I age, my thought process is slowly evolving. It may be that I’ll eventually be satisfied to just sit in my chair with my books and a telephone and hopefully a computer to stay in touch. Lord knows we sure won’t depart this life with any of the things we’ve spent a lifetime acquiring.

  2. 18 years in Alaska and 12 years living in a 16×24′ cabin. 120 miles drive to get to a store or mail, no electricity, running water, phone or TV. When a Forrest fire was so close smoke jumpers erected fire breaks and water showers, I had my important stuff packed in one bag. From your posting I think you may agree personal happiness and contentment is internal and not in what we posses.

Thanks for reading; feedback welcome.

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