There are only two rules:
Suck the marrow out of life.
Leave this place (Planet Earth) better than you found it!!
~Bill Wilson - http://www.midwestpermaculture.com
How many people do you know that are currently doing either one of those rules?
In terms of sucking the marrow out of life, most people you and I know are consumed with making money to afford the lifestyle that society has told them to strive for (Big House, Luxury Cars, Name Brand Clothing…). This stuff may be acquired, but they are often done on loan. So in order to maintain that lifestyle you need to work your life away to pay off your debts. Think about that, they are constantly working to pay for the things that they have no time to enjoy (because they are constantly working).
It’s a viscous circle. I have a little secret for you…. Wealthy people are not happy. Money does not buy happiness! I’ve learned that simplicity = happiness. Live More, with Less.
To me, Life is supposed to be about the experience! Life is a gift to us all from our creator! It is the people, not the things in life that make it so amazing. It’s the journey, not the destination that is important. You need to be experiencing life and making memories not spending all your time at work making someone else rich! (By the way, that is the number 1 most common regret that people have on their death bed…)
Humans: friend or foe?
That brings me to the second rule, leaving this place better than you found it. Everything on this planet has a role in our ecosystem. For just as our human body is composed of billions of cells working together as a single living being, so are the billions of life forms on Earth working together as a living super organism. Earth itself is alive. It is kind of neat to think about, isn't it? We can visualize the Equatorial rainforests functioning as the planet's lungs, exchanging oxygen and carbon dioxide in concert with the oceans. We can observe the atmosphere functioning as a global respiratory system. We can imagine that our rivers and streams are like a circulatory system for the planetary body, bringing clean water and flushing the system.
So where do Humans aka homo sapiens fit into this system? Sadly, we CURRENTLY play the part of parasites, a virus, a disease...take your pick! Think about it, we are constantly multiplying exponentially and consuming Earth’s natural resources at an alarming rate. The amount of waste and chemicals we pollute our own planet with is sickening. We are using and abusing instead of living harmoniously (something the Native Americans did!) It's ironic that we are the only species on Earth with the comprehension of time outside of ourselves. That means we can acknowledge our ancestors lives before we were born and we can envision a time where our grandchildren's children will exist. You would think that this wisdom would make humans want to be good stewards to this planet to ensure that we leave this place better than we find it for future generations.
"...Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment but you humans do not. You move to an area and you multiply and multiply until every natural resource is consumed and the only way you can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. Do you know what it is? A virus. Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet." -Agent Smith, The Matrix
LIVE MORE, WITH LESS
Before we can get BACK TO BASICS, we need to examine and bring to light how absolutely insane we have been behaving! As I mentioned before I to used to think that in order to be feel content and happy, I needed to be Successful, and the only way to be successful was to accumulate high status stuff such as nice clothes, nice vehicle(s), and a large house. I went to college, obtained my dream job and started making the money I needed to afford all of these items, and finally accumulated them one by one. I couldn't help but have a great sense of disappointment immediately after reaching my destination of these perceived "successes." The amazing feeling of happiness that I yearned for never came!!!! The only feeling I had was a sense of urgency to keep working, to make the money, to pay for more STUFF.
The system we are feeding into is built on consumerism. Permaculture (the solution to this madness) says that we should go from a system of consumerism to a system of creation. Yet the current system keeps telling us that the more we buy, the stronger the economy will become. Hrmmmm...perhaps, but at what cost!?. Below is an amazing video that makes the story of "stuff" (production and consumerism) painlessly simple, Big Bird and Cookie Monster style!
You will find that the creation and production of all this STUFF ends up depleting our natural resources at an alarming pace while at the same time produces tons of garbage in our dumps with perfectly good (but outdated) versions of the new stuff we keep buying. So see how this comes full circle again? Back to Basics is founded on the premise of leaving the planet better than you found it AND enjoying this physical realm''s earthly experience as much as you can before you die. So why the heck are we destroying the Earth just to produce all this STUFF that doesn't even bring us the satisfaction we really crave!??!
"The first step toward success is taken when you refuse to be a captive of the environment in which you first find yourself." - Mark Caine
George Carlin got it spot on below! This video is a "funny ,because it's true" type of clip! I promise that you will look at your STUFF and what you do with YOUR STUFF just a little bit differently after watching this!
Remember, Good Planets are Hard to Find.