The Way We Live Is Killing Us….

I didn’t post anything the last couple days because the computer died. Well, to be more precise, the power cord died and I was unable to power-up the computer. This caused a slight hiccup in the daily routine, and I found myself a few times reaching for the computer when needing information and realizing I had to go through the arduous task of looking for the information in the phone book.

Yes we still have one.

Then I read this post from my friend Michael Newnham on FaceBook:

“We are an exceptional model of the human race. We no longer know how to produce food. We no longer can heal ourselves. We no longer raise our young. We have forgotten the names of the stars, fail to notice the phases of the moon. We do not know the plants and they no longer protect us. We tell ourselves we are the most powerful specimens of our kind who have ever lived. But when the lights are off we are helpless. We cannot move without traffic signals. We must attend classes in order to learn by rote numbered steps toward love or how to breast-feed our baby. We justify anything, anything at all by the need to maintain our way of life. And then we go to the doctor and tell the professionals we have no life. We have a simple test for making decisions: our way of life, which we cleverly call our standard of living, must not change except to grow yet more grand. We have a simple reality we live with each and every day: our way of life is killing us.” – Charles Bowden

I know that as I move through my day when I am simply focused on the tasks that have to be done I treat people differently. They are in my way, or they are a commodity to help finish my task. I do not notice the things around me, I am impatient and irritable. I am self-focused.

The comment above about how we no longer raise our young…that has sat with me over the last several hours since reading this. It comes on the heels of reading an article about raising our children to be spoiled or responsible. The fact is, often I find myself just existing with my kids and not raising them. I do too many things for them rather than teaching them to do the things, and they then expect me to simply do everything for them.

It goes deeper, though….not just teaching them to be responsible and be part of taking care of the home and the family, but teaching them about the stars and the phases of the moon. Teaching them that when the lights go off we are not helpless. To do too many things for them means stealing their wonder and their creativity and creating instead a mind that waits to be entertained rather than exploring and imagining.

Teaching them that there is wonder and imagination is as important as reading…although sometimes reading leads to imagination. Teaching them to live, not to simply exist.

In teaching them this, in raising them with a view that the world is to be watched and interacted with and participated with, we are teaching them as well that they are not alone and others are important. People are not commodities or annoyances, they are part of the Creation of a Creative and Loving God who has called us to participate in this life, not to simply consume.

Oh, and this morning I was greeted with this and it seems to tie in nicely:

Yep, growing things in the garden of our mind.

All of this is still percolating in my mind. It’s finding its way into the thoughts about homeschooling and about family and about life. I am not completely sure how it will all play out, but I am sure that these things were needed in my thinking this week. And I am sure that the computer going down sometimes is a good thing.


3 thoughts on “The Way We Live Is Killing Us….

  1. Amy Hamilton says:

    Waaaay too true. I loved living on an Island in the Puget Sound for 7 years and learning….learning about Organic Gardening by joining a CSA, helping a friend work one day on hers, and knowing the Gardeners all by name. I learned how to provide heat by wood stove only. I learned how to be happy in a power outage and enjoy the snow. And the quiet. I miss that place. But in funny ways, I want to continue to insist on practicing the lessons instilled there.

    I can’t fight the neurotic connectedness. My thumbs throb when my coworkers are offsite and I have to text them to get info exchanged. It’s absurd, but becomes the norm. But I will fight…any and everywhere I can. I’ll bike and walk. I’ll know the purveyors who produce my food. I’ll pick my own blueberries. I WILL READ.

    Don’t beat yourself up about the computer and cord deal. Being a stay at home mom is an isolating thing at best, and can be a disaster for a thinking woman who has other things on her mind than just the cycle of dishes, laundry, floors, etc. I thank God for FB for you and for others of our Regent friends who are home with their fabulous but still constricting children. It’s amazing. Mr. Zuckerberg could get my vote for President one day on it’s merits.


    • sarahkwolfe says:

      I try to go once a year to a nearby monastery…it is a wonderful place for silence and meditation. I want to be creative in figuring ways for the boys to incorporate silence in their days…they are typical for their generation in not being comfortable with silence. Teaching them to have rhythms of silence and learning to do things without technlogy is so important for this generation.

      Beyond that, though, I really like what Boden says and how our way of life has impacted how we view others. When we are waiting to be entertained or served there is not much room for being moved to compassion or service. Even though the boys are young, I am already seeing this in them. Looking forward to what opportunities I can find with homeschooling to give them opportunities to serve.

      Thanks for your encouragement, Amy!! Facebook and blogs have been a blessing!


  2. Victoria says:

    I will be pondering this for a while.


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