Tuesday, September 3, 2013
We are born in a prison that we call a country. We may not leave without permission from the Government, which owns us and provides us with rights and responsibilities. Our space is defined and our movements controlled and monitored. Within this environment, however, we are left to make our own way. There is no official cafeteria for meals, just a hopscotch of soup kitchens and kindness for those without their own. There is no official bed to sleep in, just whatever housing a person can scrounge, beg or afford.
Before you and I got here, everything was already owned. There was no real chance to make our way - no land to tame and farm, no resources to turn into anything, no space to claim through sheer effort, nowhere to try our own way of living. Whatever an individual could accomplish was already done by three corporations the day they thought of it. Only by participating as a cog can most people participate at all.
There is no longer even a pretense that all this activity is for the betterment of everyone's life quality in a spirit of democracy, equality and pursuit of happiness. Equality? Pursuit of Happiness? This is the language of Entitlement.
I am entitled. So are you. We and our ancestors worked hard to make the Owners wealthy, and they should share at least a modicum of the wealth back through wages, benefits and taxes. They should enable a system that gives people the basics of life as a ration, just for being here, just for playing the game we call Life every day. They should because they can, and Every Life Has Value.
We Humans are the only known keepers of the Consciousness of the Universe. Every one of us is a god in a body. Each of us has a special element that only we can bring to the world. How many of us fail to manifest our best in our lifetime because of how we make money? Now that we can, don't we have a responsibility to start building purpose back in as an entitlement of life? Purpose requires leisure.
We are addicted to cheap things. We've subsidized the cost of Stuff for so long, and to such an extent, that we cannot function as a society without that subsidy. We subsidize it by letting corporations pay too little for resources - human, natural, infrastructure. We subsidize it by buying cheap stuff that breaks and buying another one.
If we took away the subsidies and charged what things were worth, that would be like going cold turkey. Painful. But does that mean we shouldn't try to get clean?
What if we had fewer things, fewer choices, and everything cost more? This is the same choice we give drug addicts when we tell them to "get clean". Life is not better until you've gone through withdrawal, let go of old habits, changed your thinking and behaviour, and worked hard to be something else. Until then, life is much worse, much harder than it was with the crutch and escape of drugs. Cheap stuff is just like that.
What can help reduce our jonesing for cheap stuff? Rich relationships. Pursuing what calls our hearts. If we have more time and less dependence on the system, we won't need the quick, cheap fix of cheap stuff to stuff the holes in our wholeness. We will have a better life together on the planet when we stop expecting people to work for their basic sustenance, focus on relationships at the community level, and at the same time, make the rest of the stuff we spend money on more expensive and less varied, so we all actually have to work for it. Housing, food, water - subsidized. To these, we are entitled as citizens of a country that signed on to provide Human Rights. Stuff, no subsidies. Let the Free Market decide.
To recap -
Basics of Life: Subsidized. Stuff: Not Subsidized.
It's a simple about-face. Cold turkey will give us all the shakes. That doesn't mean we shouldn't get clean.