Ritual Suicide

Hello
again from Mountain Mecca & Hippie Heaven!

Spring
is springing! But I’m so impatient; I want it to be summer…yesterday. As Prez
said to me the other day, “You know, I realize I really do miss having seasons:
Early Summer, Mid Summer, and Late Summer.”  

I had
two topics I wanted to discuss this week and couldn’t decide which to choose,
but then I realized how closely related they actually are.

We are
creatures of habit, aren’t we? I’m fairly certain only cats are more
routine-oriented than us. You can stress your cat out simply by rearranging
your furniture. Believe me, I know, I have thoroughly traumatized my feline
many times over. We love rituals big and small. From the orgy of parties,
presents, food, and booze that comes with Xmas, to the order in which we get
ready for work in the morning, our lives hinge on familiarity.  

Even
Prez and I, two nomads who are, quite literally, all over the map, have our
rituals. On workday mornings, we each venture to our separate computers and
check emails. Prez will then scan the news sites while I will either edit some
of my writing or read my favorite blogs. He always gets dressed as soon as he’s
out of bed; I always wait until the last minute (read into that what you will).

Lunch on
workdays is every person for themselves. We come home, beeline for the kitchen,
already knowing what we are going to make for ourselves. I sit at the computer
and work over lunch, Prez likes to watch a bit of Star Trek. 

Home
from work, I head straight to my computer (are you seeing a pattern here?).
Now, from this point there isn’t any set routine until…9pm…Star Trek
Enterprise! Ooooo, our dirty secret is out. Yes, we are huge Star Trek Fans.
Well, technically, we are huge Sci-Fi fans; we gobble up any good science
fiction. No matter what we have been doing, at 9 o’clock we cuddle up on the
couch – usually I weasel my way in for a back rub – and munch on our favorite
munchies (me, chocolate – duh; Prez, licorice or sugar-free gummy worms).

These
are our routines, our rituals, the small, repetitive moments that bring us
comfort. There are others but you get the idea. 

I’m not sure why we’re wired up this way but I
suspect it has something to do with a very primitive need for safety – “I did
this before and it was safe, so I’ll do it again.” The world was a very
dangerous place for our early ancestors; stray off the beaten path and who
knows what fanged beastie might be waiting to nibble on your intestines. No
matter how foreign or unpredictable an environment we find ourselves in, humans
always find a way to establish a pattern which will make us feel better.

Now
here’s the dark side… 

Often,
we become so locked into our patterns, our routines, we simply cannot break
free – even if we know these routines may be harmful.

Which
brings me to my next subject: The Planet. 

Our
earth is a bit like a used car. Oh sure, it looks great from a distance,
sitting on the lot all shiny blue & green, but the closer you get, the more
you kick the tires and look under the hood, the more you realize that whoever’s
been driving this thing has sure abused it. Yeah, it might run for a little
while but sooner or later it’s going to break down. What will it cost us to fix
it?

Global
warming aside, we have some big issues on the table. Most of our natural
resources are finite. One day, there will be no oil, no coal (70% of the energy
produced in the USA still uses coal), no natural gases. One day “alternative”
fuels will be the only fuels available. Our fish stocks are depleted to the
point of near collapse, industry and urban sprawl chew away at agricultural
land, our skies are full of gunk, drinking water dwindles, landfills grow. The
steps we need to take to reverse the damage we’ve caused and save what’s left
are costly, on many levels.

I have a
vehicle I’m not willing to give up. True we are a one-vehicle family, but we
still burn fossil fuels. I love my computer and look forward to getting a
better one some day. I eat fish. OK, I, generally, only eat fish that Prez
& I catch ourselves so I don’t support commercial fishing, but I’m still
consuming a fading resource. Oh…canned tuna…doh. I buy books. Hmmmm, paper =
trees. Sigh. My TV, DVD player, laptop, stereo, blender, toaster, cell phone,
lamp, etc., etc., etc., are all full of parts manufactured in China. China, a
consumer’s wet dream, a planet’s worst nightmare. And let’s not even touch on
the volumes of waste that go into making a little Star Trek episode, or the
toxic chemicals used in developing the film.

My habits, my rituals, our rituals are killing us. "Ritual suicide", if you will.

No
matter how good of a global citizen I want to be, or try to be, everything I
do, everything I own incriminates me. I am part of the problem and that’s
probably not going to change. Why? Because I am a creature of habit. I like my
life. I’m comfortable. The changes I would need to make to wash my hands of my
responsibility are too great, too scary. Because, let’s be real, if you aren’t
living in the bush somewhere, 100% free of all the trapping of civilization
(i.e. anything manufactured) then you
are part of the problem too.

We’ve
fallen into a routine on a global scale.  

It gets
worse…sorry.

You see,
while we in the developed, first world, nations have begun to acknowledge the
planetary problems through education and communication, the majority of the
world’s population lives in poverty, dire poverty. When you’re starving, when you’re
thirsty, who gives a rat’s ass about over-fishing or global warming? So, yes,
we can recycle all we want and drive our hybrid vehicles but we are the minority.

I worry
about the fate of our world, not enough to do anything meaningful about it
though. That’s the grim truth. I am a hypocrite. A very sad thought on such a
beautiful spring day.

What is
the answer? Is there an answer? Most of us don’t even have time to consider it;
we’re so busy running to catch up with our lives. But we have to go on.
Tomorrow I’ll wake up and stumble to my computer to check my emails. I’ll drink
my tea and slurp my protein shake. I’ll drive to work. I’ll fix a tuna sandwich
for lunch. I’ll flop down in front of Prez for my neck rub at 9 o’clock and see
what adventures are in store for Captain Archer and the crew of the Enterprise.
I’ll pet my traumatized cat before sleep. Then I’ll slip into a guilt-free
sleep and do it all again the next day.

Old
habits die hard. Hopefully Earth does, too.

QUESTION:
What are your habits?

Until
next week, I hope this finds you healthy, happy & lovin’ life!

The
Princess

This entry was posted in Environment. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Ritual Suicide

  1. Cindy says:

    Oh Boy … my habits?  While not particularly conservation minded, I don\’t think in the normal course of my routine I\’m TOO abusive of our planet\’s resources … probably less than your average person.  But like you … I worry and I\’m not sure what I could or more likely WOULD do to change my contribution to the planet\’s distruction.  I\’m sure it will all come down to losing some of our comforts either due to lack of resources or being forced to through government regulation.  But that\’s some day … for now … Where are my car keys? 😉
     
     

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