How my contribution killed the family

After you die


(3 min 30 seconds to read)

I park the car in the lot and get out. Almost forgot, I reach back and grab the large bag that’s stuffed to the stretching point, but it’s light as air and it swings in my arm easily as I walk.

I enter the grocery store and there it is. My friend had been right. There was a large bin marked “Recycle plastic bags”. I put my collection of plastic into the bin. Plastic bags didn’t get recycled by my city’s recycling program, so I had to find this alternative.

I use plastic every day, but I recycle, so I thought it was ok. But recycling costs something more than money: It costs energy. The recycling process needs electricity to run, so we burn coal to not hurt the environment so much. In the end, is the environment better off? I don’t know.

Do I need to use so much plastic? No. But it would require some effort to find food that didn’t come packaged in plastic. And I could do it. We all could. Otherwise, we’re creating a plastic world. Plastic is in our waterways and our oceans. And it’s being found in fish…  after it blocks up their intestines or chokes them.

We can probably exist with less ocean and fresh water. When drinking water becomes limited, we would ration it, and we could live.  We could suffer along with an ecosystem whose water cycle is choked by contamination and overwhelmed by islands of algae feeding  off our waste water. We would survive, but not by today’s consumption levels. The current population won’t survive with a water cycle being overwhelmed by our use.

Imagine a future where we’ve created gigantic water ships to clean our planet’s water…after our environment becomes so polluted that it cannot be ignored. The ships are constructed like whales, wide-mouthed to scoop up the tons of floating plastic debris. And inside these large machines the plastic will be processed, boxed into plastic packages to be melted down and recycled when they return.

Our technology might save our children. Or maybe they won’t need saved. Maybe our technology will save our grandchildren, or their children. Maybe it will keep our Earth clean and habitable. The beautiful heaven we’ve forgotten about.

Or else our technology will find the energy source, create the outer space habitats, and transport us to a new residence, away from our natural home. Maybe on Mars or some giant rotating space station. If we can grow an Earth habitat in these places it will be wondrous. And if not, we can live in cells, stark and sterile, but we will at least be surviving, and better than dying on this planet. The rich people might be privileged to have their cells decorated by fake plastic plants, colored green as a reminder of our original home.

Either way, we will adapt. Because that is what we do.

Until then, I continue to collect my plastic and take it to be recycled. Why? Because it’s the least I can do. Or I could get more science education, or lead others who already have it, and try to develop the tech that will make more sustainable consumption, with easy energy from the sun, or giant water ships that eat plastic.

All our contributions kill the family. Our contributions of plastic, thrown away daily to accumulate somewhere. The piles of it grow and grow, day after day, to be received by our future family: The unseen family, because humanity will survive, however small and in whatever sad conditions.

And if I do nothing, then I’m not being accountable as a member of our society, as an individual of the world. A world that is heaven on earth, missed right before our eyes, until  it is truly missed, because it is gone.


Follow me and I will take you away from the everyday.

Please feel free to pass this along if you think others would enjoy it.

 

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Just be yourself. No clothes required.

Non-conformist


(40 seconds to read)

If you’re being yourself and it’s different than everyone else, don’t be afraid. Leave it to everyone else to be common.

But the fear of being left out of the group is part of our DNA. When you do something you really, really want, something you love, then any fears melt away and you do what you want, regardless of how it looks, without worry or expectations from others.

Find that love, and your DNA adapts to you. You express your DNA, and so you get to choose to have that fear.

Just be yourself. No special shirt required.


Follow me and I will take you away from the everyday.

Please feel free to pass this along if you think others would enjoy it.

I bought it with blood

blood-drop


(1 min 40 seconds to read)

I drove through town and watched the people outside, in the park, on the trails, on the walkways. It was a beautiful day and I was going to get out in it. I just needed to mail some things, pick up some things, and I’d get out there and enjoy the day.

I returned home and saw that the kitchen was in a bad state, so I quickly cleaned it up. And then prepared a little something for dinner that night. A couple of hours slipped by and I saw the sun was low in the sky and the shadows were long across the ground. The day was gone and I hadn’t gotten outside to enjoy it. I thought, I can do it tomorrow or whenever the next sunny day came by.

I thought my time was plentiful. But our time is far from plentiful. It’s actually the opposite. It’s non-renewable.

Every moment, we make a purchase. We are purchasing where we go, what we do, who we allow in our lives.

Every Moment is your choice.

And after we have that Moment, it slips by, gone forever. Replaced by another one. But every moment is one you own temporarily. All these moments were purchased without my knowledge when I was born into this reality, and they have been constantly leaking out of a giant bucket since then. Draining slowly, because that’s how human life work. It leaks blood red. The blood of life. But it’s forgotten because I can’t see it, or even feel it. And I have so much of it.

Until one day I don’t.

I thought that somehow, my life was different. I thought that everything I want to do could be done whenever I want. I thought my bucket of life was too full to care about choosing every moment. I have so many of them, right?

What a dangerous mindset for anyone to have.


Follow me and I will take you away from the everyday.

Please feel free to pass this along if you think others would enjoy it.

Don’t let the noise become your default

Clouds


(1 min 10 seconds to read)

There is a lot that we draw on our clear blue canvas, with our thoughts, and feelings, and emotions. We fill it up with haze, and noisy storms. But the clear, stable calm is always above it.

Purge the thunder of chatter and suddenly a road opens up,  a tunnel that goes straight up, free and clear, and forever. The smashing sounds evaporate, as if they were never there. There is no more judgmental and prideful wanting and worrying. And suddenly, I am quiet. And it is as it ever was.

The disruptive clouds need no effort to be cleared.  In fact, the effort has been in creating all of that chatter: The noise has become the default. A false default. So we think the noise needs quieted by an effort of greater noise.

When you realize that the whole show is your production, then you will be free, and your sky clear.


Follow me and I will take you away from the everyday.

Please feel free to pass this along if you think others would enjoy it.

How to make change real.

Obama-Hope-Change-Forward

We voted for change with a young, idealistic black man with our current president. Today, we look to an old, critical white man for the same change.
The most meaningful change to strive for is in our own life and our own community. The rest is…overblown. The work done up there in the halls of government is important, but not as important as the attention we give to our own lives and neighborhoods.
The best hope to have is in yourself and the friendships you forge.

Follow me and I will take you away from the everyday.

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The most effective strategy to gain control of your day

Ctrl and Esc


My mind  during this morning’s meditation was like a puppy in the park. A ping pong ball between two paddle-wielding Chinese Olympians. But even after my poor meditation, I have more awareness over my thoughts for many hours after. And with that awareness, I get a measure of control, because I can sense all my emotional reactions, my anger or anxiety, immediately, as they flare up. Without this awareness, my reactions run unchecked, and they distract and destabilize me throughout the day, and throughout my life.

Given that your brain is the most powerful muscle you have, the measure of control you get from even a terrible meditation is huge.

After a few weeks, even after just a few days, meditating will probably be the biggest action you take to change your life, from your relationships to your work.

So get your ass in the seat. Every day. If you don’t have 10 minutes a day for your peace of mind, then… what’re you doing here?


Follow me and I will take you away from the everyday.

Please feel free to pass this along if you think others would enjoy it.