Wed. Jul 24th, 2024

A Life Worth Living

By Jenn Weinsheker

How did I get here? Where am I going? Why am I here? Ah, the bend in the road where the holy, the pragmatic and drunkards meet. To answer these questions many presume that our intelligence is the primer to all knowledge. Some believe the God link will provide us with an infinite source of divine intelligence that will answer all of the questions God has planted in us to ponder: which when answered correctly by God, would naturally lead us directly back to God.

Others argue that science is the true path of knowledge we must trudge if we are ever going to climb out of the muck and mire of ignorance and grasp the answers to these questions. To believe that we are capable of understanding the purpose of all of existence and our place in it is ludicrous. We may be a smart ass, but we will never know everything.

Our meager recorded history is riddled with inaccuracies and errors in judgment. People have defended their perceptions of truth through war and torture and prejudice and none of it has done us a bit of good. Terrible deeds that have happened to the planet and to one another have been done in the name of God, philosophy or science. We may laugh at the idiocy of sheep that follow the leader off cliffs to their certain death and yet we will do the same thing. It seems there is an endless supply of people who will follow their leader into delusional policies, final solutions and the promise of the certain resolution war provides.

We may analyze every motive, cause and reaction and be absolutely accurate down to the minutest detail and still this wont guarantee that we wont drown in the very denial we have chosen to pledge our allegiance to. We continually stub our toes on our absolute truths and repeatedly refuse to acknowledge our part in our own suffering. We may keep on marching in our egocentric ignorance toward the next intellectual exercise in futility, but no matter how great the god or philosophy, science or rationale is; until we face our part in this mess and take responsibility for it and back up what we have stumbled on with some common-sense choices; we will continue to occupy our lives with vain and trivial pursuits and nothing will change.

Religious and political leaders have used crusades, assassinations, murder, propaganda and superstitions to justify their cruelty and greed, in the name of truth. But it is the we who have chosen to follow them. We complain about our leaders not doing enough to change destructive environmental policies and yet we continue to waste our resources and turn a blind-eye to the inevitable end of these same resources. The amount of oil and water and other resources on this planet are finite. There is only so much of it and when it is used up it is gone.

Creating organic, reusable products from our resources makes perfect sense scientifically and philosophically. But how many of us practice the restraints necessary to make a difference? Do we continue to buy useless crap or stop and think a minute, save and make a wiser purchase that will support the people and businesses that are working toward making these changes? Do we really need 500 pairs of freakin shoes or more junk that will make its way into yet one more landfill? Ask the people in Haiti what its like to have their paradise replaced with trash. And then find out where all of that garbage came from and see if any of our broken $2.00 trinkets wound up there. There is a mass of plastic garbage swirling around in the ocean the size of Texas. How did it get there? Somehow we put it there. It didnt grow there. But its there just the same.

We are obviously experiencing huge changes in our environment. The air and water is so polluted our bodies cant evolve fast enough to survive the extreme changes we have created through the exhaust of our cars and industrial pollution. We know it exists. Scientific facts back up the reality we are living and dying with every day. And yet we find it easier to believe the invisible inevitability of thats life; instead of consider the possibility that the decisions we make wind up feeding the beast industrial leaders claim we cant control.

We have a biotechnology industry in this country that seeks to prosper by changing the actual genetic makeup of plants, seeds and animals which have been evolving together on this planet since life began. They intimidate farmers into using their seed, feed and fertilizer and are working on patenting pigs they have genetically engineered so they can charge everyone who sells the products that contain their genetic markers a fee. And yet they refuse to consider the possibility that their interference could have devastating effects on our food supply and our planet.

Study how quickly viruses evolve and either adapt to their environment or destroy it and you will understand how intimately we are connected. Physics reveals the same thing. No matter how grand the scale of observation; be it found in the studies of astrophysics or microbiology, all attest to the same principle: we are always connected to every thing all of the time. There are no empty spaces. Every thing is constantly moving and changing. No matter how much we try to make it all stop long enough so we can focus on an element, we cannot isolate it or limit its effect. We may be able to observe it, define it and proudly declare its relevance but we cant stop change from occurring. The thought that we will ever be able to define existence is contrary to nature: We remain an ever-changing part of the whole. We are not the entity itself.

The reality is that nothing will change unless I accept that I am complicit in the destruction and consumption of our natural resources. A foreign carmaker is going to sell a car next year that will get about 100 MPG. The engine is absolutely brilliant. So it no longer matters which American car industry CEO flies to DC or Switzerland or the Cayman Islands in a private jet to stash some secret money hidden up their sleeves. And it doesnt matter who gets caught stealing pension fund money from their workers. The reality is: no bailout money is going to make an obsolete car competitive. We absolutely will run out of oil. So a car that may or may not be reliable after youve owned it for five years still wont be worth much if it only gets 20-35 mpg.

How we spend our money and where we put our greatest efforts demonstrates what we truly value. All we need to do is ask ourselves, before we act or say one more word, What system of belief am I supporting? Do my choices reveal that I am still holding onto the misconception that I am the center of the universe and everything I want I should have, right now, all of the time, whenever I want it? Or will I concede that the little steps I take daily determine the path we will all take into the future? Is it possible to accept that I will never have all of the answers and yet, I can still live joyfully and purposefully if I use a little reason and choose to become responsible for the decisions I am making every day? Can I acknowledge that my little life profoundly affects all of us? How will all of this turn out? Will our little steps into a life worth living make a difference that is tangible and positive? Or will we walk blindly off a cliff and blame the leader we land on when we hit the bottom?

2009 Jenn Weinshenker. All Rights Reserved.


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