05 April, 2013

. . .

Life goes on, doesn't it? You hope there is going to be such a big change but then you look back and see that not much has changed and that what has changed has taken great effort. Broken things stay broken, slightly mended and never the same even if fixed. That weak knee or ankle gets better, but it never is the same as it used to be. I guess one can change where you live or who you live with but that it really doesn't change much.

I read about the old councils, such as the Iroquios Confederacy and how change there rarely occured, because it wasn't needed. Our modern bureacracy can barely affect changes because they are too turgid, so while change nowadays is desperately needed, due to comfort or overly complex rules or bureacracy, change simply doesn't happen, or if change does happen, it is sometimes something superficial that doesn't address the problem you had in the first place.

One example of this: In Seattle and many of the surrounding towns, they've started to use only paper bags and charge 5 cents. This is to reduce trash, especially of plastic bags, but it was such an effort for such a small thing, I wonder what we were hoping to accomplish with it?

And was the effort worth it?

I think the humbling thing about life is just how limiting ones influence is. How even after extreme effort, not much seems to change. I worked tirelessly on weekends for a year to remove ivy and replant an acre of forest only to see a completely needless parking lot paved over the area. It was saddening and humbling, and made me wonder more than once why I was putting so much effort into something that people did not want anyway.

The future of the world is scarier than ever, at least for the human race, with the global warming and widespread pollution, the political and social apathy and disillusionment and a million other things.
The truth is, it is going to be a hard road back. Little changes like removing plastic bags aren't going to fix the core of the solution or at least not fast enough. Removing weeds won't help if we keep building parking lots and new houses and polluting.

We could keep looking for new technology, building better cars, thinking that that is the solution, but what are we living for anyway?

1 comment:

Andrea Rouda said...

Oz, everything you say is so true and yet so much bigger than you--there is no fixing it. I am sorry about the acre you worked on, only to see it be destroyed! That must have hurt. So I suppose the lesson is to just do things you are absolutely sure will have a positive effect on your own, very close, circle of influence, and by doing that you are helping the world. Most of all, keep writing about all of it!