“There’s no law of physics that says we have to be an unsustainable society – in fact, quite the opposite. The planet’s ready to work with us if we’re ready to think differently, but we do have to make that jump and start to do things in new ways.”
Chase here, back to talk a little bit about what motivated Victoria and I to make the radical changes we are about to embark on. I feel like I should apologize in advance, this may end up being a little bit depressing but surely no more so than taking in the evening “news”. On second thought, maybe it needs to be. Maybe a cold shot of truth will shock someone out of apathy and into action.
Having children reorganizes your priorities in a literal heart beat. One example of this, shortly after the birth of our first child, Kendal, we moved away from the urban neighborhood we were living in and loved and bought a nice little house in a nice little suburb. Why? Because the school district was better and a kid needs to have a yard, right? But that is just the tip of the iceberg. You suddenly become much more concerned about things like where your food comes from and what is in it, the potential developmental impact from the media your child views, the direction society and government are heading in, etc, etc.. You really just want to make sure you set your children up for success so they can be better off than you are. And that is the rub. As a member of the first generations in 100 years that are demonstrably worse off than their parents, everything around us seems to be approaching a cliff.
Sadly, Victoria and I have a really hard time identifying any facet of modern life that is sustainable and we feel good about. Much of our “food” is poison and producing it is as bad for the environment as it is for us to consume, massive public and private spending and debt, ever-increasing political polarization and conflict, cronyism and corruption at all levels of government, the slow but stead erosion of privacy and civil liberties: for the sake of our children, things can’t go on like this!
Humans, by our very nature, hate change. We avoid it all cost until a crisis forces us to accept it. Despite warnings from their doctor, many don’t change their diet until they have a heart attack. Warnings are everywhere right now and all anyone talks about is what Kim K was wearing in some photo and who won the war of words in Washington DC today. That is what brought us to where we are. As parents, we couldn’t continue to live with our heads in the sand and hope for the best. We had to take action.
We started looking at what others were doing and that is when we first came across things like minimalism, intentional communities, sustainable living, and ecovillages. Admittedly, at first glance we thought some of it was a bit extreme. Then we realized that much of this stuff was just simply the way people lived up until a few decades ago. People built their own homes, produced their own food, lived within their means, shared and worked with their neighbors. Ever since that epiphany we have been working towards making changes before all of us are forced to.
There have been many baby steps in getting ready for the upcoming BIG jump and I will discuss some of those in future posts. Whether you decide to make a massive lifestyle change like we have or you just want to integrate more sustainablity in your existing lifestyle, baby steps are a great place to start.