Is life in the industrial economy really of a higher quality?
Often of late, I find myself having this conversation where I feel the need to explain why I can’t or won’t eat certain foods, use certain body care, or laundry products, etc. Often I find myself using the tired metaphor of the Canary in the coal mine to highlight my choices. And while I don’t have a full-blown case of environmental disease I seem to be extra sensitive to certain environmental stresses.
Everybody is different right? Or am I just being honest about how my body reacts when I eat food full of chemicals and crap, whereas others don’t or won’t admit to the way these things affect them? The issue here is how enured to these stresses we have become, and furthermore this exposes the lie that life in the industrial economy is of higher quality.
While our infrastructures are set up to make everything convenient and gratifying, somehow it isn’t working. So if I’m honest about my experience I see that the further away I am from the normative middle-class ways of my culture of origin, the better I feel. I wonder if taking on the mantle of the canary isn’t a sort of a cop-out, a way to avoid speaking the unspeakable, that modern life is killing us all, softly.
Now there is plenty of discussion on The Good Men Project Environment Section about the limits to growth, carbon pollution, and other such liabilities of modern life. Yet the inherent costs to our well-being and basic quality of life have been minimized or treated as a separate issue. What I ‘m getting at is that in order to face and change our conditioning we must tap into our desire for a healthy life. I have found in my life that moving from a place of intrinsic motivation is the best way to face the challenge of profound change.
I see my personal health and well-being tied to the health and well-being of the environment in which I’m embedded. With this awareness as a basis, I have a congruity and perseverance that is equal to the task of exploring new ways of living in a relationship with the earth.
We are indeed microcosms of the larger environment, the ecology of our bodies has been shaped by the same forces as the ecology of the land. So getting in touch with our bodies and what sustains them we take the first steps in shaping a better relationship with the earth. Unprocessed whole organic food is really better for me and the land it is grown on, herbal non-pharmaceutical remedies do work and break another crucial dependence on the industrial nexus.
The opportunity to tailor my life to my particular temperament and constitution is a gift beyond price. If I don’t do well with working eight straight hours five days a week I can break from the numbing conformity of industrial life and build a life in sync with my natural rhythms and the rhythms of the seasons. So you can see the scope of change possible here and how the rewards are compounded. I offer this insight to help ground the efforts of you, my fellow travelers, as we seek to explore a future in which we can all thrive.
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