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Sometimes You Want To Forget What You Know, And Just Stop Thinking About It

Behind the Curtain, by failafo0sa on Flickr


Sometimes you wish you could forget what you know.  Sometimes you just want to live the way people live in movies, the way you grew up thinking you’d live.  Carefree, not worrying about the state of the planet but just worrying about which dress you’ll wear.

It was nice, wasn’t it?  Easier in a way.  Sometimes.  Sometimes you wish you could just do what everyone else does, eat what everyone else does, and be who everyone else wants to be.

It’s not fair, is it?  That you and I have been opened to this world where our actions have consequences, where the things we do have a long lasting effect on our children’s lives?  That we pay more for food and basic things because we care?  That it takes us longer to get to work than other people who drive?  That we have to answer more questions from our children about why we do things differently?  That we have a disconnect where sometimes we don’t quite fit into society?

It’s the same with everything we learn, though, isn’t it?  When you learn a knew language, suddenly you can understand what people are saying next to you on the bus.  And you can never go back to not understanding.  When you learn a new skill, or take on a new job, or begin a new hobby, the world looks differently.  Your knowledge changes and your world opens up and you can’t go back.

When I first stepped onto a film set, I learned how movies were made in such detail, that I have never watched movies the same way again.  Whatever it is, when you find an Oz behind the curtain, good or bad, it’s always with you – you can’t un-know this fact.

We can’t go back.  We can’t un-know that our actions mean something now, to our families – and later, to their families.  But there is something beautiful about knowing, too, isn’t there?  Knowing that we are connected to each other, to the world around us, to each species on the planet.  And knowing that we can do something.  Knowing that we are doing something.  We’re changing the way we do things, and by example, we’re changing the way others do things.  And so we show more people what is behind the curtain.   And so we change the world.

Slowly, steadily, we move onward, enlightened.  Even just a little more enlightened than the day before.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead

“You are not here merely to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself if you forget the errand.” – Woodrow Wilson

While at times it is difficult, we press on. And we are not alone, we are living this life together.

Thank you for being a part of this community.

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13 comments to Sometimes You Want To Forget What You Know, And Just Stop Thinking About It

  • We are not alone! Our numbers are growing daily. The more we share with other the journey that is our ordinary lives trying to live sustainable and responsible, the more people that see it as feesible. Someday (maybe for our children) sustainable and responsible food and products will be the norm and not the exception.

    I never want to go back, just move forward and share my journey with my children.

  • Very timely. It is nice to not be alone.

    Sometimes I wonder if I should have swallowed the blue pill instead (for those that do not remember, this is a Matrix reference).

  • Yes knowledge is a double edged sword…for me I am one of the those personalities that if I learn something I must change. I have recently become vegan, my friends have asked how in the world I can live without all those things…I say knowing what I know how could I live with them? I must say that living like in the movies would be fun for a while but when the movie was over the world would be a mess for it! Kim

  • Perfect timing! I have been lately contemplating living a dissociated life, knowing what I know but living as if I didn’t, because I am so totally overwhelmed with it all: the regular activities of my life (like parenting, spousing, homeschooling, housewifing), plus trying to adapt everything to “the red pill” as someone above referenced. Even my dreams are turning against me, causing me to “experience” things I would never choose consciously and reinforcing the tantalizing, titillating but all the while ephemeral pleasures of another life…

    What a solar-powered roller-coaster!!

  • Having the green blogosphere help keeps me motivated, inspired and supported, even though I dont know what most of you look like, or if we have anything in common besides this.


  • thanks for the reminder. Its good to remember why we do this in the first place.

  • When I fall off the wagon I’m usually reminded that the mainstream stuff that’s supposed to cheaper and easier generally isn’t. The milk at the supermarket might be cheaper, but it comes with a fight with the toddler over buying stickers or sugary yoghurt, the organic milk at the small fruit & veg shop doesn’t come with that problem, and the drive that feels like it will be faster is actually frustrating and slow compared to the relaxing knitting or reading time created by the train trip. After I’ve caved to the usual assumptions I’m generally left wondering why I didn’t believe my own promotion of the alternatives.

  • When I ran my first business, I learned what it was like to [i]earn[/i] a living rather than have a paycheck and healthcare handed to me. I realized that empowering yourself to achieve, rather than being at the mercy of several layers of supervisors empowers the individual. Anyone can pull themselves up by their bootstraps and provide themselves a comfortable living while being able to provide to their local business community. It’s one of the great lessons in self-reliance.

  • This isn’t about the post although I really liked the post. I just want to say great photo! I love watching how the light moves around the house during the day and changes through the seasons. That’s what happens without a tv I suppose.

  • Your welcome Melinda. And a thank you to you as well.

    My mother recently said that I’ve been influencing her perspective on things. One of my brothers called me to ask me what I thought about the tankless water heater that I had once (I would do it again). Some of my coworkers were teasing me (kindly) about how strange it would be to see me with fast food bags. People on the bus ask me what I’m knitting on a regular basis and why. Several of us got into a conversation about organic fabrics the other day. I also had a conversation recently with someone about why I will pay more for food.

    It’s been a challenging week to not have a car and it’s good to remember these things. There really is no going back.

  • Its good to remember why we do this in the first place. It’s been a challenging week to not have a car and it’s good to remember these things.

  • Beautiful, beautiful comments – thank you all for your lovely thoughts – they’ve filled me with feelings of good.

  • This is such a wonderful post. One of my favorite quotes (and I can’t remember who said it) is that doing the best you can means “you do what you know and when you know better, you do better.”

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