Right now I've got a chicken on the stove. I'm waiting for it to pressurize so I can turn the heat down to prevent the lid from exploding. Not that I've done it before, but that would be something I'd do. Jamie says I burn things too much... There's that need for instant satisfaction poking through...
In the car today, I was thinking about how I've been molded since birth, mainly about my role as a consumer. As a living being, of course I can't escape "consuming," but I can try to escape being a consumer. I don't have to be a person locked into a pre-designed, corrupted, morally-flawed system of wants and desires.
Yeah, there are some benefits that capitalism has provided me (and you)... elastic, magnets, antibiotics, cheesy poofs, sewing machine needles, vanilla extract... Here's a fun question: If you could pick your top ten favorite things that without the system would be terribly difficult to acquire, what would they be? Try it. It's not that you even use those things constantly, just that without being able to buy them at some store, you'd run into problems that otherwise could be easily solved- with money. (Ha, such an understatement!)
Take Nic's visit from the vet- without antibiotics, syringes, and iodine, that poor lamb would have suffered greatly and may even have died. Or here's another example- say it's just one of those nights when you crave butter brickle ice cream. You could obviously live without it, but your tastebuds were nursed on Cinnamon Toast Crunch, pre-packaged American cheese slices, Gushers, and fountain soda concoctions. (Joey, do you remember Sprite-Coke-Rootbeer? You're cringing now, I bet, but back then our little consumer-brains were rigged to go nuts and whine until we got some!)
Even though I can say I make health conscious decisions and buy primarily local, healthy food, I still get flashbacks at times... sudden cravings for homemade rice crispy treats or "cheese"-filled hot dogs. Oh, and Velveeta Macaroni and Cheese? Don't even get me started. The mind of the child-consumer is the most valuable. You're nurtured to find a brand and stick with it, befriend it, protect it, glutton it. In turn it haunts you for life, even if you've shunned it years ago.
I sometimes wonder whether or not my children and my children's children will ever be totally free from these constraints. If I raise them in a less material-reliant manner than I was, if I don't allow them to be hooked on rainbow-colored cereal and the nectar of corn syrup, will there be less that they're addicted to? Of course I'll probably slip up and introduce them to the hot, marshmallowy goodness of rice crispies because, lord knows, my cravings will never completely go away. But undoubtedly they will be hooked on less than I am, right? Or is this all idealistic? (Partly it is... I just finished reading Island by Aldous Huxley!)
Still, my favorite ideals are the idealistic ones! My favorite people tend to be bold! I was talking to some farmers about diving headfirst into this lifestyle. There's not much of a chance for hesitation. Suddenly you're a sheep farmer and you wake up with manure under your nails and your future uncertain. The thing is, it was always uncertain- to you. One day it just dawns on you, it smacks you straight in the face like a sack of bricks, that you are this particular person, doing these particular things that you want to do and it all makes sense and is baffling at once since you can't quite remember how you got there. But you exist right now, and you're trying at life and maybe it won't save humanity, but every soul and impression of the heart is everlasting, so what the heck? Why not?
Dinner's ready. House (and lid) structurally intact. Chicken unburned.