I received a thought-provoking email recently that I’d thought I’d put to you all to answer.
I am soooooo not a blog-commenter, you cannot imagine! Pretty safe to say this is my first.
Your site is so real and honest. I was browsing purely for research yet the character ringing through these pages was so… crystal, I think?… I couldn’t help but engage.
I live in the Philippines, a developing country in Asia. While my family is in that slim ratio of the more materially fortunate, our country is beset with poverty, corruption and moral decay. As such, the ideals on this site sound removed from reality, as esoteric as a new religion. Even as IN PRACTICE it all comes down to things our pre-colonial ancestors took for granted! Conditioning shampoo made from tree-bark, leaves/roots/flowers in everything, water kept cool in clay jars, giant palm fronds pulled manually to cool the room, wood-burning stoves… my own grandmother was a poster girl for green!
It’s when we think of it as modern or alternative or even Western that it feels hokey. Being poor and still agricultural, maybe we don’t need to call it “green”. It’s just what our mothers did.
And then I wonder: isn’t that true even for you guys???
Best of luck with this undertaking!
If there’s anything I can do…
What I Believe
Thank you for your thought-provoking question, Adele!
First off, I don’t want to make anyone feel bad about their lifestyle, because whether or not it’s a Western invention, I think it’s necessary given how far our Western culture has gone astray.
Secondly, I also believe that back to the basics or living as our mothers did is a bit artificial, because our lives ARE different than our mother’s and grandmother’s, and I don’t believe it’s realistic nor healthy to be always looking back. There are many things I learned from my grandmother and mother that I do want to return to my normal life. But there are a lot of aspects in the contemporary world that are essential to understand and be a part of in order to change society.
For example, I can’t blog if I go back to the simplicity of life during my grandmother’s time. Yet I feel I’m creating great change in my life as well as thousands of others’ lives by blogging. I also can’t run a business that creates wide-spread change without utilizing modern tools and reaching people where they are, which often means reaching people with technology.
And finally, my mother and grandmother didn’t always have it easy, and didn’t have time to do some of the things I do today. I did try to live a lifestyle that was self-sufficient and idolized an old way of doing things. But I found that I didn’t have time to reach out to others, I didn’t have enough money to survive as a family, nor did I totally enjoy a lifestyle that so fully centered around my own daily life.
So I see living a sustainable lifestyle as utilizing the tools we need to use in order to generate change, while reincorporating some of the timeless values of our ancestors. In other words, taking the best of both worlds, both generations.
What Do You Believe?
Are we just creating another artificial, hokey alternative?