(A 3 to 4 minute read)
"It is no measure of health to be well-adjusted to a profoundly sick society."
— Jiddu Krishnamurti
The fabric of wholeness that once gave us a sense of purpose and belonging—connecting us into a web of responsibility, relationships and health among family, community and nature—has come undone.
In this post, parenthood prompts me to explore this unraveling, and to begin a search for the solutions to it.
This is Part 2 in a Series about our family's journey towards real and green.
The rest of the Series is here.
A radical shift in focus
Healthcare and education are inextricably linked to the health of our surrounding environment and social fabric.
Motherhood shifted my focus radically away from my previous singular fascination with natural horsemanship.
My first child nursed endlessly and seemed to only sleep when I held her, which gave me plenty of time to read about my new obsessions: natural health, nutrition, and early childhood education.
I've always been an intensely curious person who could never be satisfied with the status quo. Whatever the question, I want to know more, understand better.
So naturally, my exploration did not stop at natural healthcare and education - because I quickly realized that these topics can't be studied without also studying the health of the environment that supports us, and the health of the social fabric that we are part of.
My exploration rippled outwards from health, nutrition and education until it became an inquiry also into the ecological, political, social and economical state of the world around us.
As I read, my awareness kept expanding – in very unsettling ways.
Things I had previously been oblivious to took on a whole new importance in light of the question, “What kind of world are we leaving for our children and grandchildren?”
The common thread
The topics I began to read about during that first year of motherhood—topics I am still reading about more than 10 years later—are widely varied.
When my search began, I was like an over-stimulated puppy let loose to follow the scents – one fascinating line of information and then another jerked me this way and that.
That still tends to happen, but today I can name the common thread:
I’m engaged in the study of how and why our physical and social / emotional / spiritual health are eroding along with the health of our natural world – and, much more importantly, what to do about it.
The symptoms of our malady
The fabric of our relationships with family, community and nature has unraveled.
The fabric of wholeness that once gave us a sense of purpose and belonging, connecting us into a web of responsibility, relationships and health among family, community and nature, has come undone.
Let me list some of the ways this has happened...
- Culturally and individually, we've handed everything from food production to healthcare, education, and more, over to experts and institutions.
- In the process, we’ve lost our sense of self-reliance, forgotten how to trust our own thinking, and allowed community-sufficiency to be superseded by separation and dependence.
- We are consuming cheap, mass produced goods designed to break and be replaced, instead of making our own unique versions of what we need and trading within our communities for what we cannot make ourselves.
- We have voted unawares for a food production system that is poisoning us and our irreplaceable planet earth.
- And we are staring at screens in place of connecting with each other and with nature.
That's a simplified and incomplete list of the symptoms of our malady, but it’s enough to get started with.
The story of our time
The story we currently live within is not the only one available to us.
We can re-weave the fabric of wholeness and write a different story.
As these explorations fueled deep discussions and a fundamental shift in Alain’s and my worldview, it was as if we woke up for the first time.
We stepped out of a stance of “unaware citizens blindly following the status quo,” into one of “intensely dissatisfied individuals determined to take back power over our own lives.”
Fortunately, the list of solutions is as long as the list of problems.
I read books and consumed websites too numerous to remember and name—I’m sorry now that I didn't keep a list—written by people who are doing something about all these issues and taking back responsibility for their own lives in big and small ways.
A different story
Alain and I began to read the story of our time and our culture in a new, more critical, more empowered way. We came to the realization that there are alternative stories we could choose to create for our own lives.
ARealGreenLife is essentially a blog that arose out of our study of the ways in which we, as individuals, families and communities, can re-weave the fabric of wholeness and write a different story.
In the next post in this Series, Alain and I begin to re-define what "freedom" means to us.