waking up, bit by bit


I always feel like people are waking up. I seem to see it and feel it around me more and more.

I read about folks living minimalist lifestyles, tiny houses, sustainability, simplicity.

People seem to be more conscious of inequality and injustice – and the roots of those issues.

Things like organic foods, recycling, and mindfulness are mainstream.

It makes me hopeful to sense this burgeoning awakening.

Then, what do you know, something like Black Friday comes along, and Cyber Monday. And we just hop on the bandwagon.

I don’t get it. The days of uber consumerism just seem passé to me now. Is that just me? Is this really the tradition we want to hand along to our kids?

And how many people are actually aware of Small Business Saturday? If there’s buying to be done, wouldn’t you rather help out a neighbor than Jeff Bezos?

Is it just my own illusion that people are waking up?

I see the strangest dichotomies all around me, all the time.

We all know the best gifts have no price, but we’re still driven to buy.

We all diligently recycle, but our recycling bins overflow.

We all become outraged for a time at the notion of children being taken from their parents, but tens of thousands of children dying of starvation remain in our periphery.

We dote lovingly on our cats and dogs while happily chowing down on a cow or a pig or turkey that was raised to be killed.

We have religions professing the belief that it is absolutely wrong to kill, but giving the nod while wars proceed apace.

We know exercise, nutrition, rest, community are the keys to good health, but we look to doctors and pharmacology for a fix instead.

We’re all about renewable energy, but there’s no meaningful effort to reduce overall consumption.

I don’t know. Some of this stuff just doesn’t seem that complicated. So why we keep participating, enthusiastically, is kind of mysterious. And disappointing.

Maybe that is just how change happens, though.  Two steps forward, one step back – that sort of thing.

Most often, it’s a simple matter of not doing. Doing by not doing.

Black Friday, in my mind, falls in that category.  Not doing. It’s one thing, anyway.

Bit by bit.





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