Thursday, April 03, 2014

Thoughts Provoked By Trash

As I walked down the driveway last week, I saw some trash caught along the fenceline.  It irritated me a bit, but it's a part of modern life.  I picked it up, stuck it in my pocket, and headed back inside.

When I fished the trash out to throw it away, though, something made me look at it a little more closely - and for a brief moment I got really mad.  Seriously - have we become so crunched for time (or simply lazy) and so consumerized that it is necessary to buy peanut butter and jelly sandwiches premade and pre-packaged???  Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches?  Really?

This rates right up there with buying tap water by the (plastic) bottle, for over $1 each.  Come on, folks, just turn the tap on and fill a bottle up for free!  Save the plastic.  Save money.  Avoid some extra chemicals leaching into your water from the plastic.  Then slap some peanut butter and jelly on 2 slices of bread.  Cut the crust off if you've encouraged your kids to be picky about such things.  I haven't priced it all out, but I can almost guarantee making the sandwiches yourself will be cheaper than buying commercial, pre-made pb & j's.

When we've gotten to the point where we're too busy or stretched too thin to get ourselves a glass of water from the faucet or to make our children a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, we're too busy.  Something's got to give.

It takes 2 people to earn a living these days.  If even 2 people can.  Working 40 hours each, 50 hours each, 60 hours each.  Working hard, because we'd never want to be seen as slackers and because we have no choice.  Performing "internships" for free so that we can get experience, then not getting hired because the next unpaid intern is waiting, anxious to work for "experience."  Working 2 jobs at 35 hours each so that the companies don't have to pay benefits - we're "part-timers" working 70 hours each week but not "worth" health insurance or paid time off or sick leave.  When these horrible hours have their inevitable result and our bodies rebel, we become one of the "slackers", too sick to keep working.  If our health insurance comes from our employer, we're really screwed.  Too sick to work, but no health insurance if we're not working...and no work to get money to pay for health insurance.

We're not machines.  Any of us.  We're human beings, with good points and with faults, with weaknesses and with strengths.  Some of us are kind and some of us aren't.  Some of us naturally work harder than others.  Some of us are smarter than others.  Some of us are more social or less social than others.  Caring - or not.  Artistic - or not.  Creative - or not.  Neat - or not.  One way or another, there's much more to human life and human worth than paid labor.  And it's time for us - all of us - to remember that.  We need to be treated as living humans, to treat each other as worthwhile humans, and to treat ourselves with love and compassion.   We need to take our lives and our world back.  One way...or another.


Sue said...

Bravo! Well said!

ProfessorRoush said...

Welcome back Gaia. I believe this qualifies as a garden rant. And a good one.

ProfessorRoush said...

Welcome Back, Gaia. I believe this qualifies as a garden rant. And a good one!