Mindful Living Center

Talks and tools to live mindfully. Meditation and Yoga studio in Thornhill. more details at: http://meditation.meetup.com/304/

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Change begins with you and me

A sweltering summer comes to a close, nearly. Toronto is an interesting place, in the fact that as much insanity, inequality and strife that seems to slap the worlds majority in the back, its business as usual in Toronto’s diverse yet sheltered city. When I talk to friends about the impacts our way of life have on the soil, air, water, forests and all animal and plant species in between, they counter with rhetoric about how economic globalization is looking out for the world’s poor “One thing is clear: contrary to what leaders of western governments may say, globalization is failing the world’s poor. The argument that globalization is working for the poor does not deserve to be taken seriously, says Kevin Watkins of Oxfam.”(A Peoples World) The principles of this Globalization are anti-democratic by means of centralizing power in the hands of few, making small rural communities grow monocultures of cash crops for export causing droughts, deaths and dependency on transnational corporations genetically modified seeds. Because of our current stability in the Western world and poor understanding of the interconnection of the world, my friends act satisfied with their existence; they see themselves as happy free individuals. Although they also think any attempt for individual changes is hopeless. I am aware of my delusional happiness and I think highly of friends and strangers alike but as a people we are missing out on some key intrinsic connections with the natural world that supports us. We look at basic resources around us as God given. We use them with little care or awareness of their sacredness. Marketing stripes any inherent value out of nature’s creation and transferred it into a brand which is tied to some sort of nonsensical identity. I give my friend’s credit for the fact that they can use logic and often find some sort of linear error in my argument. But it kills any further development, openness or analysis on their part to continue and develop a solution. “It shows a lack of education to try to prove everything, because you have to have a starting point. You can’t prove the methodology of science; you can’t prove logic, because logic presupposes fundamental premises.”
People seem to think I am trying to insult their beliefs, way of life or desires. That is the furthest from the truth. I am looking for viable and sustainable solutions for humans as a whole as well as all other life forms who we share this wonderful planet with. The fact is Canadians consume, travel, eat, and waste far too much. If the world’s population lived like a typical Canadian did we would need two more worlds worth of resources. Where’s the logic in that.
Toronto is my home, I think I have learned through reading about ecology, spirituality and traveling that survival of any life form or community is strongest with a high diversity. That goes for all ecosystems and agriculture plans. That’s one reason why I love Toronto, but at the same time; especially in younger generations who have subcultures they buy into and not traditional philosophy and religious ideologies. Ethics, precepts, commandments are worthless unless you live by them or strive to. I’m a marketing student and I have problems with most multi-national companies because of their root goals, unregulated practices and centralized power. Then you look at native peoples such as the Kung people of the Kalahari desert, who have been living off natural resources in the same place for 11,000 years. For today’s economists that’s unthinkable. “Most native societies around the world have three common characteristics; they had an intimate, conscious relationship with their place; they were stable “sustainable” cultures, often lasting for thousands of years; and they had a rich ceremonial and ritual life. They saw these three as intimately connected.” –Dolores LaChapelle
If we could live the way we live, without destroying the planet at the pace we are and not turning a majority of the world’s population into poor voiceless individuals then I would be content. But that is not the case. Life is like a scale when all is in balance all life has enough to survive and can enjoy nature’s blessing and tread with a light ecological footprint. But when a portion of the population consumes more then necessary, then natures resources are not being equally shared, that’s why globalization works in our favor, because we extract endless natural resources tax free from third world countries so we can keep up with our over-consumption. We our to blame and must take responsibility if we want the future generations and current majority of the world’s population to have a chance at life. True self-realized happiness comes from a simple material existence and deep concern and energy put into helping others. “Whenever you are in doubt, apply the following test: recall the face of the poorest and weakest person you may have seen and ask yourself if the step you contemplate is going to be of any use of them.” –Mahatma Gandhi
In the months to come I will look at steps that we can all take to deal with global issues in our daily activities, locally.

Luke madonia


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