I’ve probably written this blog post a million times in my head while trying to sleep at night. I’ve written it so well behind my eyelids that I’ll probably never be able to write it that way in real life. But I’m going to try even though it might be inelegant. It’s a controversial topic afterall.
This is about humanity. This is about what gets me down. This is about us as a species, not as individuals. As individuals, I think we’re great. We can be smart, loving, intelligent, honest and true. But as a whole, in my opinion, we are a pestilence. We are a plague, a swarming hive of insects intent on destroying the planet.
I truly believe this and it upsets me every time I think about it. I get upset when I walk into some place like Wal-mart or Target and see heaps of cheap colorful plastic. I imagine the entire store in a pile, in a landfill where it will eventually land. And this is just one store out of thousands. I get upset every time I have to throw away a razor or a floss container or every time I buy something that has ridiculous plastic encasing it that I cannot recycle. I get upset when people buy new things when the old aren’t used up yet. I get upset when companies produce products that are meant to be thrown away so that the consumer can upgrade. I get upset that our economy is based upon this kind of wastefulness. I get upset that nothing gets fixed anymore, it just gets tossed out. I get upset that wrapped up in our American Dream, a dream that is amazing and free is the idea that everyone in America is free to be as unhealthy as they like, to buy and waste, to drive gas guzzlers because no one can tell anyone what to do. These are our freedoms! We’ve given ourselves the freedom waste, to throw away, to destroy. I get upset that I’m guilty of all of this too!
And I don’t know how we can stop. I don’t think we can. That’s how upsetting this is to me. We’re embroiled in a pack mentality, we’ve married ourselves so well to this wasteful, I need it now thought process that it is second nature. We’re so attached that we don’t know where our food comes from, we don’t know how to survive without electricity or technology, hell even without cars we’d be sunk. There are so many things we don’t know how to do. Our entire way of life is dependent upon destroying everything around us, building strip malls, cities, concrete, pushing out animal species, melting the ice caps.
And we’re everywhere too. We keep growing, our population is out of control. When I take a drive, a vacation in my own state or to the next, all I see is houses, everywhere. And this is rural America. I don’t see many wild spaces, I don’t see anything but PEOPLE everywhere I look. And then sometimes I watch TV shows that show aerial views of cities, like NY and I think…this is what humanity has created, we’ve built ourselves a cage to live in, an unnatural place, filled with nothing but humanity, inhospitable to other species, toxic to the earth.
And we’re poisoning ourselves too, every day. Drugs, toxins. Do you know what’s in your soap or lotion or shampoo? Do you know what pesticides cover your food? Do you know what’s in those household cleaners or those drugs you take every day that are supposed to be safe? We’re changing ourselves and the children of our bodies, our very make up with these drugs as well as the world around us. Ever hear about how a person took a pill, it turned to waste and ended up in the water only to change the habits of fish? This kind of thing happens and it’s scary as hell!
We never think. As a species, we never take the time to think about what we’re doing, about whether something is a good idea. We jump on things that are easy or new. Sometimes I think we are so naive, we can’t see 2 feet in front of our noses!
When we contemplate history it’s hard to understand how horrible things can happen. For example, understanding what happened in Nazi Germany, I don’t understand the pack mentality that allowed those atrocities to happen. But if you really think about it, atrocities are happening now! Not the same kind of atrocities, but atrocities none the less that we are enacting in a global pack mentality. Someone gets a good idea, or what appears on the surface to be a good idea and then everyone jumps on board. The latest craze, the newest fad and everyone wants to take part and no one can tell the individual they can’t do whatever they want. This is a free country!
I’m not by any means advocating laws here, or the idea that we need to be regulated by the government. I think we need to be regulated by our feelings, by what is right, by the fact that this earth is our home! We’re part of it and it is part of us. We don’t own it! We are made of the same things and yet we disrespect it. If someone can do it, they will. If someone sees some land and they see the opportunity for a momentary profit, they strip the trees and build a parking lot and a mall or store. All that matters is profit. All that matters is jobs. All that matters is that everyone can be free to have 5 kids, all little consumers who will grow up destroying our planet.
I’m sorry. This might sound harsh, this might sound anti-human or something, but I think it’s the truth. I’m disgusted with us. But we’ve been this way for years and years. Hundreds of years. It’s not new. And it honestly makes me glad that I’m only going to be here for 80 or 90 years at the most because I don’t think I could stand seeing what we’re going to continue to do.
And I get really upset. I wish there was more that I could do. I wish I didn’t have to drive a car, I wish I didn’t have to buy things that can’t be recycled, I wish I had the time to grow all my own food. So many wishes and no time! That’s another fault of humanity, of the American Dream is that everything is so fast paced now that we really don’t have time to think about what we’re doing! And I’m sure there are many who feel like I do. What can I do? And even if I do what I can, what difference will it make? There will still be those out there who do not care, who build the big box store just 10 miles from the other big box store, there will still be those who build a subdivision of cheap substandard new houses that no one buys, there will still be people who will waste and throw away. What can I do???
I’ve already done what I can, haven’t I? I recycle, I try to buy natural products, I have a compost bin. But this isn’t true. I’ve done some. But not all. I could be more conscious of what I purchase, what gifts I give, what jewelry I buy, what clothes? Recently I’ve spent time at thrift stores and antique shops. Used things. Used clothing, used books, used jewelry. Why not? Instead of buying a pair of cheap earrings at Target that I’ll throw away when they tarnish, why not save my money and buy something nice or something used? And clothing too? I found some really nice things at the Salvation Army and I’m supporting a positive cause. And when I think of throwing something away, I can think of donating it. I don’t think this will stop the big stores from having ridiculous amounts of easy to buy things. I don’t think we can stop. But maybe if we all thought a bit more we might be able to make a dent.
I think my natural instinct is to assume the worst, to look at the negative and my negative side says that we’re on a path to destruction and there’s nothing that’s going to save us now. Or if we do get saved it’s going to be at the cost of many many lives. Or we will have poisoned ourselves with our own drugs, toxins and fast paced way of life. Infertility, disease, mental problems? Or killed ourselves off with our weapons of mass destruction? There are many ways I can see it playing out. I don’t want to be a downer, I’m trying to be realistic.
But when I get upset, my thoughts rotating through all this terrible stuff, my spirits down, my realistic, rational husband will tell me that we have to live too. And we do. We can’t spend all our time obsessing over things that we can’t change. But maybe with a little forethought I can live in a way that makes me feel a bit better about this catastrophe we’re involved in.
What do you think? Is there anything you can do?