The Whole Human Being: a "new" and savvy citizen for our times
Written by Jan Lundberg Culture Change Letter #133 - June 20, 2006
In this time of mounting threat to our species and the entire biosphere, our weakness seems to come down to individualism and materialism.
. . . Our idea of what is necessary to survive has broadened materially and technologically. So not only is happiness no longer achieved by pursuing selfishness as individuals and materialists, our very survival is in question if we keep going with today’s extreme forms of individualism and materialism.
. . . Meanwhile, amassing knowledge of sustainable living is only prudent in a time of overspecialization and high vulnerability to complex systems and unaccountable, distant authorities. Although consumers may be too dense and lazy today to change proactively to deal with the fact that local food production is wise when the average piece of food travels 1,500 miles, we may have to write off these unfortunate folks for the moment as we go about preparing our own closer relationship with nature. We are too fragile and out of touch, much like those in a 1960s song who have "arms that can only lift a spoon." We must also work on our relationships with each other:
The reforming of tribes has been going on right under consumer society’s nose since the 1960s; a few aware people are biding their time. So, we must continue trying to come together as neighbors, families, band members, comrades, and communitarians. The answers are not waiting for us on the desks of government officials, nor in corporate advertising campaigns or news programs.
Every decade the modern man is appreciably weaker. He is more dependent on technology and has less wild nature around him. He is less likely to use basic, traditional skills to accomplish something for himself. Instead, he can buy it. He has less family around to participate in an activity, as other family members can be elsewhere being good consumers, students, workers or soldiers. He is more likely to be alone and is surrounded by plastic claptrap. What he thinks he needs to know is less likely to be found in his head or in others’ heads such as his elders’; he gets it from a computer...
It goes on and I cut out a lot, but I gotto get out of this computer and go and grow some veges!!