I just finished reading Ishmael last night. I'm probable the only one here that hasn't read it yet, but if you haven't I highly recommend it. It is a book that gives you a lot to think about. It has made me totally re-think this culture we live in and the impact it has on the earth as well as our own mental and physical health. Lying awake last night thinking about all this, I got pretty down. I don't see a way out and I don't really see how it can get better. I can't just opt out of this culture (at least not if I want to remain in a family with my husband and son). And I don't see that any changes I make are really going to make a difference to the world as a whole. I can reduce my impact and I've been working on doing that, but really I'm just doing that to make myself feel better.
I picture our culture as a stampede heading toward a cliff and most of the herd doesn't even see the cliff. And I vary between letting myself be swept along with the herd because it is easier and going to the back of the herd and stopping. However, the herd is still dragging me along. Does it really matter if I'm fighting it or not, I'm being dragged by the majority toward the cliff. I guess if enough of us stop, those near the back may stop and that may make more stop. But if the rest are dragging us all, can we get enough to stop before we are dragged over the edge? Is it possible that only those near the front will go over the edge and those of us in the back will be left balanced on the edge but not going over?
Why am I learning to be more self-sufficient? Why do I want to get a homestead going? According to Ishmael, it is still the wrong way to be going, it is still agriculture and playing god. And I'm not sure it is enough to prevent the rest from going over the edge. I guess I'm hoping that if most go over the edge, maybe some of us won't be dragged along and we will be able to survive. If I'm able to live on less and do more for myself maybe my family can survive if we aren't dragged over the edge?
I don't have any answers. Somedays I just want to totally opt out and move to the jungle somewhere and live with the "primitive" people. I'd love to hear other thoughts on this.