Every generation thought the sky was falling. Every age and era saw its conspiracy theorists and apocalyptic evangelists. Every period of time has known horrific tragedy, unfathomable cruelty and immeasurable suffering. Cumulatively, our species has endured indescribable hardship: diaspora, starvation, persecution, annihilation, and pandemic. For 200,000 years, people have roamed the earth – finding our way in spite of endless adversity – to survive another day, another season, another year – to give new hope to future generations. Yes, we have evolved – but to what end?
Relative to life on this planet, we are mere infants. Our species’ reckless talent for invention has eclipsed any real value for the virtues of sustainability. I suppose it’s not our fault. Collectively we’re young and naïve, and we have no memory for the nuances of long-lasting survival. However we evolve out of the status quo, we will surely endure untold unpleasantness. According to our present (albeit rudimentary) scientific conjecture, 2050 may witness human populations explode upwards of 9 billion people; record drought, deforestation and desertification unmatched in human history; submerged global coastlines; polar ice caps and countless numbers of wildlife species – all but gone. 2050.
My daughter will be forty – the same age as her mom and I today. None of us can know what that future will hold for her. None of us can predict what new medical treatments we will have discovered, what new inventions we will have fabricated, what geopolitical agreements we will have realized, what ecological interventions we will have implemented – to sustain human life on planet Earth, or elsewhere. We can, however, assume we’ll need: an abundance of potable water, plenty of nutrient rich food sources, and climates that support homeostasis. Everything else is anyone’s best guess.
As we continue to cling to this spec of cosmic sand, hurling through space at one thousand miles per hour, it’s difficult to imagine how much will change between now and my daughter’s fortieth birthday. Fear is a primitive emotion that triggers a fight or flight response – and often inhibits the part of our brain designed for solving problems. As much as I fear for my daughter’s generation, instead I choose to feel curiosity about her future. I hope. I challenge. I try. I encourage. I seek. I love. I choose. According to www.worldometers.info, about 340,000 people were born today and about 140,000 of us died. For about 140,000 of us, there will be no tomorrow. So, while we are still alive to choose, how will we live? What will we choose?
I believe our biggest threat to the sustainability of our species is the contemporary manifestation of greed. It’s killing us. Greed’s grip on the corrupt and power-hungry has catapulted this planet into ruin from which there is no plausible return. It has provoked so much senseless waste of life, so much brazen disregard, so much shameless destruction, so much unremorseful aggression. Greed has led us to murder, rape, torture, imprison, and poison our mothers, our fathers and our children. It has tricked and coerced us into swallowing blatant lies to further the selfish gain of a mere few. How have we allowed it to get this far? Have we evolved into mindless, helpless, sitcom addicted, junk-food eating, Wal-Mart shopping zombies?
A revolution is coming. My suggestion is to get nimble. Downsize your life – completely. Need less. Get resourceful about finding what you need, when you need it. Share the stuff you don’t need with those who do. Spend your money on well-made things that last a long, long time. Buy food that is local, organic and responsibly grown. Start a community garden. Vote with your fork and your wallet. Be mindful about waste and your daily water consumption. Ride your bike. Read a book. Teach your kids about kindness. Maintain enough food, water and first aid to support your family for no less than 1 month. Starve the wolves at Monsanto, Big Oil and the military industrial complex. Live every moment. And hold on…it’s about to get bumpy.
Life.Simplified. (as published in The Aspen Times)
Read Evan’s bestselling new book ClutterFree Revolution, available on Amazon. http://amzn.to/1bjG9Wc Learn more at www.ClutterFreeRevolution.com Evan Zislis is founder and principal consultant of Intentional Solutions, delivering hands-on organizational solutions and strategies consulting for households, businesses, students, and life transitions. For more information about simplifying your stuff and organizing your life, call 970.366.2532, email Evan@MyIntentionalSolutions.com or become a friend at www.facebook.com/EvanZislis.