Yesterday I wrote that we are all stuck in little boxes, in a somewhat metaphorical and somewhat literal slavery. I used a quote from Django Unchained to illustrate this. Mr. Candie asked why the slaves never used their number and their power to free themselves, specifically referring to the head house slave Ben and his straight razor. I inferred that we have our own straight razor and we could free ourselves any day of the week. But I did not refer as to what that razor might literally be.
So here are a few things to ponder in your life. If each one of us takes small steps in any of these areas we can change the whole world, literally for the better.
1. Question everything.
We have been taught to never question the status quo, we have been taught that knowledge is a static thing that preceded our existence. We have all spent countless hours and dollars getting "educated", but we do not question what that "education" really is, or if it is really "true". The more questions we ask, and the more critical our thinking becomes, the more fluid knowledge becomes, and the status quo of learning starts to look very foolish.
2. Barter and trade more.
This refers to number one. Money is a concept. It is not a real thing. It is a symbol of value that we use to trade. A brief research on various currencies throughout history shows that currency can be shells, rocks, paper, metal or really anything that a society can agree symbolizes the value of labor. When you barter and trade more, you do not use a Central Bank's money. This means that you don't pay taxes, which means you stop supporting the military industrial complex that runs the United States. I am not saying that taxes and money could not and are not used in good ways, but I am saying that the majority of what those things do are wrong. We need to turn it around. This is how.
3. Drive less, and consume less plastics.
Not only would this reduce oil prices, but it also reduces the disgusting sweatshop labor (slavery?) that we all subsist on, not to mention the wars that happen around the world because of oil. You can do this by moving closer to where you work, riding a bike more, walking, riding public transportation, etc..
4. When you buy something, consider it's true value.
Are you purchasing something that is made to break? Is it made to go in a landfill to be replaced by another item that also has a short lifespan? Is there a version that is made to last your lifetime and even be passed on to your children and your grandchildren? When you compare the true cost vs. value is it actually more expensive? Let me give an example that we are all familiar with. a throwaway water bottle vs. a $30 metal water bottle. If you are like me, you drink at least two to three liters of water per day. Decent water in a plastic bottle is typically about $1.50 and at two a day I would spend $30 in ten days. Those are not the only costs. How far did the plastic travel? Where was it made? Where was the water sourced and bottled? Extrapolating these questions leads us to an expense that is far beyond the $30. When I buy a $30 dollar metal bottle from a company that I know has made this bottle as ethically and responsibly as possible, I get more than just financial savings. I also get to choose my water source and understand the implications of that as well.
None of these things are easy. Our society has brought us down a path where much of this is so ingrained it feels like being stuck to a tar baby. Don't be too harsh on yourself. Pick one thing that you know you can actually change in your life and change it. When it becomes habit, pick another, and then another...
I dream of the day that we have all been spending the last twenty years living in this mindset.
Peace and Love,