Monday, August 18, 2014

Our Environment, Our Well Being

Our Environment, Our Well Being
by Laughlin Artz

If you don’t have a vital, healthy, sustainable environment in which to dwell, nothing else really matters.

That goes for both your planet and your body.  I campaign on these issues in tandem.  They are intrinsically connected and as such, hitting them as distinct yet mirrored entities will maximize the power we can gain in both arenas. 

You see, there is a direct connection between our relationship to the well-being of the planet and our relationship to the well-being of our bodies.  Beat the crap out of it, fill it with junk food and poisons over long periods of time, poo-poo advice to alter detrimental behavior, and then finally – only when our bodies/planet start to break down and revolt – only then do we begrudgingly attend to it. 
And even then only long enough to arrest the immediate crisis, which once abated, we go back to doing whatever we can get away with.
Now let’s consider what might be the context of all this.  The whole arena of well-being – our own and that of the environment – is viewed as feminine, “girly,” not manly, not macho, and for sure not the rough and tumble invincibility that we so proudly, as Americans, claim to be.  Even the language is crafted within that construct.  We name our planet Mother Earth and we frame our tending to our personal heath in the context of “care,” a traditionally feminine trait.  Environmentalists are themselves characterized in this same vein of feminized ridicule as “tree-huggers.” 
This should in no way to be construed as any agreement with, or validation of, these historic and misogynistic perspectives of women as the “weaker” sex.  This is simply an investigation into the condition.  The fact is that men run the vast majority of nations, and as such, much of the current polices and behaviors in the arena of well-being are born of these antiquated “masculine” views.  Me Tarzan. You Body/Earth.
The planet, our celestial body, and the bodies we inhabit are viewed as “ours”; they exist separate from ourselves, we own them, they work for us, they exist for our own use and pleasure.  Even the notion that we can “own” property, that we can actually make claim to a piece of Earth, all comes from the perspective that the planet is ours to have our way with, to do with what we will.  Earth is our bitch.
Capitalism gives us economics as the context through which to view and interact with the planet.   Given that the game of capitalism is growth, growth, growth, it pits our thinking and actions in direct violation of the natural order of life, which exists in a context of balance, wholeness, interconnectedness, and oneness
The capitalists are constantly scheming for how to increase profit, market share and the like.  Any talk of limitation on that pursuit is viewed as constrictive – an attack on the very nature of the game.
The earth is a limited resource, a finely crafted ecosystem that exists and flourishes in a natural condition of balance.  Everything on the planet came into existence in relation to everything else, and to not have an awareness of and operate consistent with that condition of balance is to violate the natural order and systematically extinguish the life force, which is what gives us all life.  We must move the environment into its own context and begin to remodel our economic models to co-exist within that natural balance.
The planet’s health is our health. 

We are the planet, and the planet is us.

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