To the Editor
Watch a two-year-old drag out their favourite book of late? Can’t get enough of that story. Our adult entertainment consists of nine repeated plots. We love repetition.
Charles Eisenstein in his book, The Most Beautiful World Our Hearts Know is Possible, claims our story of separation — separate from each other, separate from the animal world, separate from nature and her laws — is at the root of our problems. Since the surpluses of food and goods generated by agricultural and industrial cultures, we have been isolating ourselves from the natural world and even each other, enthralled by the story of human progress.
Today’s scene is increasingly homogenous: world-wide urbanization, high-rises, gated communities, and gentrified neighbourhoods that exclude those who can’t afford them. And a growing list of environmental disasters that are the consequences of robbing tomorrow to pay today. Enabled by technologies and an incredible array of goods and services, we have been led to believe that if we work hard enough to purchase whatever our hearts desire, we can participate in progress. How do we define progress?
Today’s story of progress would have us believe it will make each of us more important, longer-lived, happier and more powerful than we already are. We have become so disconnected from the natural world that we dry our laundry in machines on sunny days. Force five hurricane in the Bahamas? Not in my backyard: carry on with normal, trust in progress.
In his writings, Eisenstein asks us to consider another kind of progress, the progress that comes by integrating our lives with what the planet’s natural systems and laws can comfortably provide. No, this form of progress does not mean regressing to a hunter-gatherer lifestyle. But it would end the story of separation, an end to us against them, rich against poor, race against race, humans against nature. It would restore the sacred relationship we were meant to have with all life and the air, water, sun and soil that creates and sustains life. An end to all ongoing wars to prove our way is superior to their way? Sounds a lot like what Greta Thunberg wants us to consider. It sounds like a future.
Clements Verhoeven | Creston