It’s time we brought our survival down to a personal level.
Look, I’m in the same boat as a lot of you. I live pay check to pay check. There’s not always a full fridge in my house. I’m certainly not starving, but there’s not excess. Even so, I enjoy what I’ll call a few luxuries. I can afford to attend school, and take tai chi, and I don’t work at the hotel full time. I’ve got the time to work on my book, and other independent projects I’m intending will turn some sort of profit one day so I don’t have to work at the Soniat House anymore. I’ve got a killer family support system so I know if I really needed anything that backup is there. I am admittedly, a little spoiled.
However, I am well aware that we are on a sinking ship. The luxuries I have now will not always be around, and the way the world is shaping that collapse is coming sooner than later. I don’t feel a sense a panic, but one of urgency. And that’s the same fire under the ass that we all need.
I have no idea how to grow my own food. I’ve waved to my neighbors a few times, I do chat occasionally with the guy next door, but I don’t really know them. There are basic things that I’ve relied on other people for for years, and very quietly but persistently a little voice is telling me that its time I learned a few basic things. That, is where we all need to head.
I understand times are tough, but our reliance on the powers that be no longer serve us. We need to start forming communities that have shared interests, (whatever those community interests are) and start relying on ourselves to do what’s right. I have heard that urban homesteading is not terribly difficult, and it’s inexpensive. I’m going to do a radio show on Saturday afternoon to help people get started (myself included) a basic 101. My lease is up soon, and I need to start thinking about making the shift to either get to know my current community, or finding one where I vibe with the energy, and share some of the same goals.
I understand that moving might not be an option for people. I understand that a lot of people have hardships, and problems, and are scrapping by. However, our excuses are no longer reasons for not acting. If anything, those hardships need to be the reasons that we start taking matters in our own hands and stop waiting for someone else. We need less fear and more information.
I know that working together has become an alien type thing. I know it will be hard because we’ve become very isolated from each other, and a million other reasons. What we need to beat into our heads is that the past is just that, the past. We must move forward in much more loving, much more informed way. We must start thinking of not only ourselves but each other. That is the only way we are going to turn an impending disaster into a time of transition. Transition can be messy, sure. But once we have broken through what is breaking down we have the opportunity to create something magical, sustainable, and that makes sense to our needs. Those needs will be different from area to area. It’s not a one size fits all solution. We are different but we are not alone.
I was reading the Times Picayune this morning, and went to the opinion pieces. A few letters to the editor caught my attention and then lead to the urge for me to write this piece. One gentleman wrote that we cannot expect corporations to act morally. He listed some good reasons such as shareholders and investors that watch profit margins from afar and don’t particularly care how the company is working so long as they get their money. What annoyed me about the article was not the truth, but our reaction to it. For so long we’ve seen this as being a fucked up way of doing things, but let it slide because we believed we couldn’t change it. Now we’re sitting on the brink of disaster, still crying out for someone to save us instead of taking steps to fix it ourselves. Do we need safer regulations on oil rigs, or do we need to stop our dependence on something that has never done us any good on that moral level? We don’t have to reinvent the wheel. The beauty of this is that alternatives already exist we’ve simply never created the demand for them. I don’t want the government pushing for renewable energy, I want US too. I want communities to get together to contact these alternative resource companies and discuss first hand their needs, and how they can make it a viable solution. I want us, who all need our modes of transportation for various reasons to demand that that our gas guzzlers be replaced by cleaner, more environmentally sound solutions for the same price. Hydrogen cars. Electric cars. Soy bean oil cars. Car pooling. Walking when we can. Riding our bikes when we can. These don’t have to be hardships. You gotta go the grocery store that’s cool find out who else does and ya’ll can go together. You gotta run out for milk? Is there a little local store around the corner you could visit, and instead of driving grab the dog and the hyper active children and wear both out? I know at first these may seem like difficult inconveniences but hey, that always happens when breaking a bad habit. Trust me I know, I’ve got to change just like the rest of you. But I’ve got to change. If we put our minds and our hearts in the same place it won’t become such a bad thing after all.
Another opinion piece in the paper this morning was a gentleman who stated that if the moratorium on oil rigs down here doesn’t lift the end result will be more people dependant on the government for welfare, higher prices at the pump, and fewer people who can afford to heat and cool their homes. He may very well be right. And that is prime reason for us to change the way we do things, not demand we go back to the same suck ass solution that got us into this mess in the first place.
It’s not going to be easy, I’m not saying it is. But that the fact that it’s going to be hard is no reason not to start. It’s hard now. It can either get worse, or we can get wise. It’s our choice.
She has published two science fiction novels and has been working on a third for way too fucking long. The first two books are: Synarchy Book 1: The Awakening and Synarchy Book 2: The Ascension.
Aside from being a story-teller, DCS is also a radio show host. You can hear her and her co-host Julie "Plucky" Myers on their radio show WomenInHoddies every Sunday @ 12pm on the Public Service Network. http://www.psn-radio.com