Saturday, May 02, 2009

Entering a period of consequences...

"The era of procrastination, of half-measures, of soothing and baffling expedients, of delays, is coming to a close. In its place we are entering a period of consequences…" - Winston Churchill

I'd probably disagree with 75% of Churchill's politics, but as much because he saw a world people don't want to see. He said what he saw, and opened eyes, and when the dark days of war came, he rallied the people to their common defense.

I see in myself an anger at a world I think must fail sooner or later, and yet I participate in madness, only held "above it", by some tokens of resistance, symbols of independence that really do little to make me more independent.

On the issues of Energy, Environment, and Economics, I do a lot of little things
1. Reduce, reuse, recycle. I try to avoid even getting to recycling for my needs, shopping at a food coop, buying bulk. I even carry recycling home from work.
2. I bicycle to work, don't own a car.
3. When I needed a new furnace, I upgraded to a 94% efficient model.
4. I buy clothes largely from thrift stores. I generally buy very little, except good books, which I consider long term investments.
5. I'm fortunate to have a good job, earning more than I need, and I use surplus income to pay down debt. Plus I refinanced to a fixed-rate mortgage, so I could pay off my mortgage in a bit over 3 years if I was devoted and lucky.

Lots of good things, but I'm also largely in a state of denial, a state of paralysis for big changes with an uncertain future. I figure holding my job is a priority at least while I have debt, a no brainer, but there might be more dramatic decisions, like leaving my job now would provide a 5-year company stock buy down, and living expenses for 5 years, but that's IF there was opportunity now that closes later.

I see the biggest issue for me is a wish for security. I'll chose the security of small returns even if they don't match inflation. I'll choose the security of tinkering around safe and harmless Wikipedia than ask myself what my time is really worth. I mean that in the sense of service. My work on Wikipedia is service-oriented, on knowledge and wonder, but it is endless and when I'm afraid of the world, I can stay on the safe side forever, and let the world fall apart!

AND even ignoring the desperation of that claim, it's not the world that needs me. My little contribution won't change destiny of humanity. We'll fall or not whatever I do. So the REAL issue is what is MY LIFE for?

That question a reversal from my title and introduction. Still there is a needed relationship here. In good times, people can be mindless-slobs wandering around picking their nose and obvious. We can assume such people will eventually get bored and think more deeply, but in good times, that's their choice to throw away their lives! But in harder times, bad behavior comes back to bite, and throw people into worse situations, and hurt other people for their obvliousness, and self-pity too!

And I am in such a place myself, cowarded by fear, soothed by distraction. I'd have to call my state depression, since even the smallest of practical things that would move me forward seem a drag. Partly that means not listening to feelings BEFORE trying to do something! But also just seems like a long climb back to reality.

It's nice to try to see the bigger picture, to have bigger goals, but they don't mean anything until my life is in a better place, where all the basics are being done.

So the consequences are here, and time to clean house. A boring conclusion, but I know nothing else is meaningful otherwise.

BUT, my MAIN lesson here, is to see there are things now that I might want to DROP even if they serve some purpose, if they are burden helping to hold me down.


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