Changing What We Take For Granted

On my way home, at the end of the day, today, I saw an older gentleman standing on the side of the road (maybe 60ish) with a backpack, apparently waiting for a ride.  It seemed a bit odd to me.  I was driving myself home in my own car – sort of doing what many might consider “the normal thing.”  …grow up, have a job, have a car, drive one’s-self wherever one wants to go – that’s “independence” and the normal thing for most adults in 21st Century North American culture.

Then I started to think… what about those other things we ‘expect’ – things like a cell phone, a short line-up at the store, a daily shower or flushing after every minor toilet use (!)…

It was World Water Day yesterday, and I was watching a few clips of Maude Barlow online.  One of the statements she makes is that we have to change how we’ve viewed things until now.  Water resources – like everything – are finite, and we can’t expect things to just be there for us always.

What’s wrong with the picture of the older fellow waiting for a ride?  There shouldn’t be anything wrong with it.  I should do my best to carpool, to have the time to wait, to not expect to drive myself everywhere.  And I should be conscious of those little decisions daily that add up and, when we’re all making those choices (to drive ourselves, to run water wastefully, to have all the new gadgets…), we’re making a choice for the future.  We really can’t go on like this.  There are many of us on this planet, and only so many resources.

We can, collectively, choose to be less wasteful with food.  We can, collectively, call on our representatives in government to pass legislation that requires corporations to be environmentally conscious.  We can, collectively, as consumers, choose to consume less oil-dependent (for transportation, for manufacturing, or plastic) products.

It’s hard.  We have to live differently than our parents or grand-parents did – and we tend to gravitate to what we’ve been taught by their example.  But we can do it!  For the sake of everyone everywhere, we must do it.

Changing what we take for granted starts with you.  It starts with me.

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Posted on March 23, 2011, in Tyler's occasional web log. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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