Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Don't Shit Where You Eat

One of my favorite kind of days is the chance to be at home ignoring errands, bill paying, cleaning up my desk, exercising, driving even one mile for any reason whatsoever, or cooking meals. (No, I don't spend the day watching television.) Thankfully, my husband has been lured by the charms of Trader Joes' array of prepared foods, usually the fare of singles. He has used his wiles to survive gastronomically despite my sloth; thanks to his generosity of spirit in this regard, we are still velcroed together since our marriage 29 years ago. Otherwise, if "the way to a man's heart through his stomach" aphorism were true, our marriage would have been jettisoned long ago.

In the big picture, my self-imposed isolation is a luxury of the need-less. Microcosm reflects macrocosm. How do we as Americans live in the world happily,  taking up 25% of the world's resources with impunity while ignoring the impact to Mother Earth and the millions worldwide who toil to supply our wants? Like the Dolomedes spider that eats her young, uber-wealthy USAers now live off the sweat of the poor on their very own soil as well. Wall Street, Congress, and multi-national corporations might well pay attention to another food aphorism, "Don't shit where you eat."

I might add, don't shit on anyone else's territory either, where real human beings are in want of clean drinking water, good sanitation, healthy food, medical care, a chance at education and a livelihood of dignity.

Even if we recycle, drive electric cars, use solar energy, buy local organic, use bio-degradables, bicycle and so on (we all do that, right?) there is a collective responsibility that most of us pretend to forget as children of the convenience culture.

Please forgive me for offering the following advice, elephants around the world - you are awesome beings: the only solution that comes to mind is hidden in the gruesome and politically incorrect joke, "How do you eat an elephant?" Answer: "One bite at a time." 

So on those days when I hide out from the world, I wonder. What could I do differently while keeping my American citizenship?

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