Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Feel Better

Do you feel bad? No surprise if you do. Denial if you don’t. You are part of the most destructive empire ever. The most armed, most dominant military of all time routinely kills innocents to make way for multinational corporations to engage in a race to turn more natural splendor into toxic waste. In the name of profit, prisoners cycle through a system designed to keep them down, fear mongers wage constant assault through media designed to sell you crap you don’t need, and your heavily armed neighbors roll around in suburban assault vehicles. You should feel bad.

You want to feel better? Would you like to be part of a healthy web of life in a universe ruled by eternal love? Would you enjoy compassionate collaboration with people who appreciate your unique traits?

Here are a dozen specific steps you can take right now to make the world better.
1.     Kill your TV. Besides being a colossal waste of time, television is centrally controlled media completely dominated by the advertisers. The inaccurate view it portrays (99% of the violence in America is on TV) can damage your psyche and make you waste your time trying to obtain worthless junk.
2.     Eat more fruits & veggies. The best nutrition comes from local, organically grown plants. Save a fortune by growing your own. Get to know area farmers. Eating well will quickly make you feel better, and, since industrial agriculture and food processing is a leading source of pollutants, it will improve the world.
3.     Meet your neighbors. You should be able to rely upon those who live closest to you. The best way to secure this is to prove that they can rely upon you. It’s important to know those neighbors you trust least. You want to be sure the guy with the guns knows you’re too nice to shoot.
4.     Get rid of the car. Individual automobiles are the least efficient means of transport in common use. 99% of all the people who ever walked the earth got along fine without cars. You can, too. Walk, bicycle, and take mass transit. Perhaps you’ll occasionally need to rent a motor vehicle. The money you save will turn your life around.
5.     Stop doing what you don’t like to do. Nobody can force you, if you stand your ground. Follow your conscience, set your priorities, and make your own choices. No, you don’t “have to go to work.” If it is your choice, then take responsibility for the consequences.
6.     Boycott bad stuff. Don’t give your time, money, or energy to those who exploit. Insist upon quality goods and services, produced willingly through healthy processes. Green washing is not good enough. Refuse to consume faster than the planet can produce resources.
7.     Learn to empathize. Practice compassionate communication. When you’re sad, grieve. When you’re scared, seek reassurance. When you’re mad, set boundaries. Know that others have similar feelings and needs. Listen for clues and offer solutions. Voluntary service is the greatest joy.
8.     Simplify. Less is more.
9.     Breathe slowly. Some cultures teach basic breath control. When you master your own breath, you can remain calm amid calamity. You will think more clearly and act more rationally if you breathe more slowly.
10.  Practice democracy. Genuine democracy is rooted in a community where every voice is important. By building consensus around your daily decisions, you can organize from the grassroots and refuse any oppression. No army can defeat Satyagraha.
11. Appreciate nature. You don’t have to escape into wilderness to find nature, although that can be a valuable experience. The awesome sky is always over your head. Weeds pushing through pavement present a microcosm of the last stand of old growth trees. Every breath of air is a result of a series of miracles that sustain our living planet, of which you are an intricate part.
12. Play. It’s how we learn, how we communicate, and how we relieve stress. Give yourself permission to laugh. It’s okay to have some fun.