Excess

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Our prisons are overcrowded, our children under-educated and over-medicated. We have too much food, which contains too-little nutrition. We are overworked, we do not rest enough. We make time to drive from here to there, but cannot make time to spend in solitude, or with those we love. We are bombarded by too many words, too many screens, too many advertisements and too many things we “must see” and “must have.”

Our holidays have become excuses for over-purchasing, over-eating and over-extending ourselves. We take vacations only to come back more exhausted then we were when we left. We want to “get away” from “this life” because we are not attending to our basic, human needs. Our society does not allow for it. It has developed into a society of excess, a consumer-driven, capitalist machine that is killing our humanity and destroying our home.

We hear about legislation that might pass, that might “help” climate change, might help stop deforestation and fracking and the depletion of our most valuable resources. We await eagerly to hear that nothing went too wrong, yet, and still we continue to buy and consume and drive and acquire more and more and more.

Psychologically, we are losing it. Mental illness, depression, disorders of all kinds are the silent consequences of a lifestyle that does not feed the soul. We have lost tradition, ritual and time-tested knowledge to the buying power of corporations and pharmaceutical companies, to pieces of paper that cost a fortune to define us.

We have lost the art of silence, the art of being alone, the importance of careful consideration. We live too fast.

Cancer, diabetes, heart disease. We all feel the effects, and we know, deep within, that something is wrong here. Modern technology allows us to live longer than nature intended- the money pours down a dark drain and the importance of quality over quantity is slipping away from us.

We do not sleep, we drink. Families are falling apart. We throw away people like we throw away a five-dollar shirt from Wal-mart- it doesn’t matter, we can just “get a new one.” We are all hurt, and hurting each other, with no end in sight.

The craftsmen and women are disappearing. Our right to a hand-made life is being put in the hands of others, hands, halfway across the globe, that work not to make a thing with love, but because they must make that thing to survive. A thing that arrives in our hands and is already planned to obsolesce.

When we do not do a thing with love and skill, we do a disservice to ourselves and to our brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, sons and daughters and friends who live here. The effects carry far and wide, through trash heaps and miles of plastic spiraling in our oceans, killing beauty and leaving ugliness in its place.

If there is one thing that I want in this life, it is to leave the world a little more beautiful than it was when I got here. I do not want to participate in its demise. I do not want to leave my children a legacy of mindlessness, of the inability to think past tomorrow.

This is my purpose.

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