"Did you ever feel like an alien who somehow became stranded on a planet called Earth where nothing seemed to make any sense?" A quote from "Ming The Merciless"
Recovering from civilization can be brutal but neccessary if we are to become truly free from it's influence. Kick the civilization habit here!
During these difficult times even the little things count.
More and more people are becoming aware of their use of resources, especially energy resources. This awarenessis mostly the result of environmental considerations, but cost is also an important issue. When you sit downand crunch the numbers after a short time of energy saving measures it is very surprising how much money youwill save. And it's little things that make a big difference, like turning the lights off when we leave a roomand switching our old light bulbs for new energy saving ones. Weatherizing our homes, for example; plugging upthe gaps under doors and around windows. Turning off the water when not directly using it. Here in America wehave some behavior modification to endure. That is, we are so accustomed to our conveniences in all things, thatit will be somewhat painful changing our habits.
Our travel habits are one of the main issues. Whether we are talking about local travel or outof town travel, we Americans are so used to our comfort that we take it for granted and this makesit difficult to even realize the existance of problems or the need for changing our behavior in order to address those problems. So, it's a matter of awareness as well as caring. Many of us never think about habits at all, much less how to deal with them once we become aware of them. Now, I'm speakingabout habits that for some reason have become liabilities rather than assets, many of our habits start out as assets and then time and circumstances can change this. The thing to remember is how weformed habits in the first place, because that's the key to changing them.
The caring part is about motivation, without it we would have no reason to undertake difficult tasks like changing our habits. Knowing how we form habits is the key to knowing how to change them. We simply replace them with different habits using the same conditoning principles that established the original habits, only the new habits are intended to result in different and hopefully better outcomes. Changing our habits is not the problem here, the problem is when those changes require sacrifices or cutbacks or downsizing our comfortable lifestyles in some way. So, we not only have to establish new behavior habits/patterns, but also our thinking habits/patterns as well. A good strategy here is to take a large picture approach and change our upper level mindset first. It is more efficient to change our mindset on a higher level rather than addressing every little issue separately. That way, all the little issues will automatically be included under one umbrella of thought.
Mindsets are a great capability that our brains have that we can take advantage of in order to automaticallyconfigure many areas of our lives. But there is an unforeseen benefit that results from understanding this capability of ours.This same capability is also responsible for some of our less attractive attitudes and beliefs. It is after alljust another tool that we possess, and tools can be, and often are, misused. Almost all of our attitudes and beliefs are based on some basic mindset in that particular catagory of beliefs. If our mindset does not includethe idea that we are consumers in more than the merchant sense, but also as a species consuming resources on a global level, our behavior will reflect that condition and we simply won't think about the long term impact and consequences of our consumption.
There are some indications that one of the problems with the Human species is that we are too obsessed with our own self interests, a condition called egocentrism, even to the exclusion of all else. This sounds a little crazy because I would think that awareness of our environment, and it's condition, would be in ourself interest. But that brings us back to mindsets and how broad or narrow our perception of self is. Do we see ourselves as a species or just me myself and I? And what about the caring part? Do wecare about our children and grandchildren and all the future Humans of the world? Or is our mantra,'I've got mine'. We seem to be a spoiled consumer civilization that for some reason havn't beenable to develop beyond the adolescent stage of growth and awareness.
I know, it sounds flippant and oversimplified, but it might come to just that (and may already have come toit). We either grow up and face reality and deal with it, or become one of nature's failed experiments.Even a bunch of lizards lived on this planet for 180 million years, while we, the so called intelligentspecies, might not make it to 3 million. What's wrong with this picture? How long do we plan to hide fromthe truth inside our self induced ego based comas? This description of our current condition may be slightly brutal,but can we afford to keep on as we have been, knowing that this course has produced the results we see and are experiencing today? So, if we change our basic mindset regarding our place in the scheme of things insuch a way as to allow for a broader perception of our responsibilities to our environment, perhaps it willresult in us turning off the shower water while we soap up and other obvious resource management strategies.