Ambition

I had to hurry the preparation for our spring plantings, so nothing came out quite right.  Our early production this year is the worst we’ve had.

And yet, we have put away enough asparagus and English peas to last till next year.  And we’ve put away enough broccoli to get us through until the fall crop.  Even in a bad year we’re able to provide plenty for our families.  And I’m expecting bumper crops in the summer and fall.

Although I rarely read fiction anymore, this weekend I finished One Second After, a novel set in the Asheville area after an EMP renders all electronics in the country nonfunctional, a book which had been recommended to me by a friend.  It’s an ugly book and I can’t recommend it, but it did cause to me to think a lot about how totally dependent we have become upon modern technology.  Because we were in Asheville while I finishing the book, it was particularly unsettling.

Once the EMP (electromagnetic pulse) fried everything that depends upon computer circuitry (which is nearly everything we use), the country descended quickly into a barbaric nightmarish struggle to stay alive.  Within a year 90% of the American population was dead and the remainder were starving and battling rampant disease.  As I read it, it was scary to realize that it is plausible.

As a society we have allowed ourselves to become totally dependent upon an unsustainable network of technology and transportation for all the necessities of life.  We don’t grow our own food, make our clothes, treat our illnesses, provide our own heating, acquire our own water, etc.  We are completely at the mercy of a faceless system that will collapse as soon as there is no power or electronics to make it function.

As a society we are also so out of shape and addicted to medications (prescription and non-prescription) that a substantial percentage of us couldn’t survive a year without someone to produce and process our foods, heat and cool our homes, process our wastes, and treat the multiple health problems our pampered lazy lives have given us.

If we were set back a mere 40 or 50 years technologically, our entire society would disintegrate into helplessness.

I certainly don’t think we should dig bunkers and stock them with food and ammunition as we prepare to fight back the starving hoardes from the city, but I do hope that more and more of us will wean ourselves from junk food, pharmaceuticals and laziness.  I do hope that more and more of us will plant backyard gardens and think about how our everyday choices affect others and affect the planet.

I’d love if it more and more of us would follow the advice of the Apostle Paul, from the earliest Christian document yet discovered (his first letter to the Thessalonians):

Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.

Love Wins

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