Providing the sustenance for one’s self and family is fundamental to a successful life and a healthy community/nation/state. We wouldn’t think of hiring a contractor to wipe our hind end after a bowel movement or having someone come in from the outside to have sex with our spouse, or love our children for us, but something as fundamental as providing the very food we eat has been outsourced, gladly.
I happen to believe that the root cause of most of our societal ills can be tied directly to the move away from agrarianism and towards urban cosmopolitanism. Can we survive this way? Sure, in the same way you can keep a body alive on life support. Is that what is best for humanity? The answer should be self evident.
(As I write this my wife is preparing dinner and the children are busy doing chores in the kitchen and the oldest walked in from splitting rails, saying that he was starving. My wife said “hunger builds character”)
I probably sound like a broken record and for that I apologize, but human beings are part of the natural world and are not exempt from the limitations of our nature. The more jammed up we are, the more our anxiety increases, like livestock raised in confinement. The lower the quality of our food, the longer the time between harvest and consumption, the more processes between raw and served, the more malnourished we become and nourishment, like hydration is essential to life.
We’re sick. Personally, culturally, politically, spiritually and intellectually because we aren’t living naturally. The worst part is that most of us don’t even consciously choose to live this way, we simply go along with the existing system because of convenience. It’s easy. Like staying in a bad relationship, like bearing the chains of servitude, like hanging on to a job because of the income.
Making the choice to live like we were meant to requires sacrifice. Toys, leisure time, distractions, excitement. Often times it leaves us out of tune with vast majority of our fellow man and aside from the basic needs of any organism, fitting in with everyone else is crucial to how we perceive ourselves. Being an iconoclast or an outsider is a far worse fate than dying of obesity or cancer.
The other day we were all standing outside after a shower and the largest, most colorful double rainbow I had ever seen created a perfect arc over our farm. The scent of lilacs filled the air and all of us, normally a loquacious bunch, stood there in rapt silence. I wondered how many people in the US were tucked into their climate controlled houses watching whatever passes for entertainment these days, guts plugged with overly processed food, their bloodstreams swimming with pharmaceuticals and felt a sense of profound sorrow that this was being missed, not just this one time, but for entire lives.
Maybe hunger will spark a revolution, but I certainly wish that it winds up being the kind that doesn’t involve conflict with others, but instead a resolution with ourselves.