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Sitting Pretty on a House of Cards

Sitting in starbucks, hot cuppa cradled in my hand, laptop in front of me. It’s a slice of heaven that may be possible only for a brief moment in the whole of human history – because  this moment I could so easily call ‘mine’ is  a house of cards.

Lets start with me. Despite the envious eyes of passers-by on their way to work, there’s the fact that my next paycheck is as yet unheard of. I’m drinking coffee I technically can’t afford. I had to sneak past my sleeping wife to even get a taste of it.

There’s the technological aspect of having a laptop. It’s probably the second most volatile ingredient in my iconic adventure. The materials to make this machine come form all over the world, as do the materials that create the Brisbane power grid and the myriad communication hubs my internet is coming and going through.

As well as the raw materials, there’s the labour – supported by an economy that at the moment is booming – thanks to international appreciation of Australia’s natural resources.

You get the picture. It’s marvellous, what we can do today. But we shouldn’t assume we can do it tomorrow. Make the most of what the world has given you to use – there might just be a purpose for it.

Look beyond your immediate needs to the underlying needs of our world. Educate yourself and act within your means to grow the awareness that we can prevent whatever problem it is you choose to focus on.

Work a little magic into your day, with the help of the house of cards. When it falls, things will be different, but we will still be there – and we better have learned a few things.

Thanks to Esther Gibbons for the pic.

Comments

  1. Bill Gerlach says:

    “Make the most of what the world has given you to use – there might just be a purpose for it.”

    I love that, Ali.

    Then you hit me with “Look beyond your immediate needs to the underlying needs of our world. Educate yourself and act within your means to grow the awareness that we can prevent whatever problem it is you choose to focus on.”

    And that’s where I get nervous. Why? I have always had the tendency to want to be involved in TOO many causes, too many things that to my eyes need fixing. Things both big and small; close to home and very far away.

    I chip away at a lot of different things but at the end of the day am only able to move each one forward the tiniest of bits. My mind always is telling me just to focus; focus on one thing and move it by leaps and bounds.

    It’s a struggle. With so many worthwhile things to work on in this world, it’s difficult to focus on just one.

    But maybe that’s the secret…

  2. Ali says:

    Between you and me and everyone else, I think we each came into this world with a specific purpose. We’ll be called to it eventually, or latch on to it when we stumble across it.

    Follow your heart, you can’t go wrong. Don’t judge results – you’re here for a reason. How’s that for a claim I can’t backup?

  3. Raam Dev says:

    Absolutely! I’m a very strong believer in building not only our “knowledge skills” (which largely depend on current technology and infastructure), but also building our real world skills.

    In any type of disaster (even just a car accident), how useful would you be? Could you lead? Would you know what needs to be done at a basic level so you can start helping without direction? What if someone is injured? Do you have any clue how to handle that situation? What if you found yourself in a survival situation? How long could you last?

    This is just an example of the types of skills I think everyone should empower themselves with. We need to take these matters into our own hands and make them our responsibility. I think the lessons and things we learn from building these real world skills will automatically benefit the other areas of our lives.

    I’m planning to take a few Search & Rescue courses so I can become a volunteer and get myself trained in things like basic first aid, etc. I don’t think we need to all become super generalists that can handle everything, but we should at least have an IDEA what to expect and how we can be most useful.

    Robert Heinlein put it best: “A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.”

    • Ali says:

      Hi Raam. Thanks for the comment :)

      I agree – we should all know how to resuscitate someone, do CPR – and react in an emergency. In fact our lack of knowledge (especially mine) is frightening.

      I reckon you’re going to have a lot of fun learning search and rescue.

      There’s enough time in our lives to become good at a wide range of things… if only we didn’t waste it consuming television rather than creating new abilities. I want to do similar things… it’s a great way to meet people and share life, as well as influence people with message such as the importance of the plant-based diet in creating a healthy, happy and stress free world.

      Seize the day – Raam!

  4. Bill Gerlach says:

    You bring up a great point, Raam. I totally agree with you.

    One of the downsides of living in our Culture of Convenience is that we’ve lost our knack for being self-sufficient in the most basic of ways. Maybe it’s the wanna-be homesteader in me or the old Boy Scout that believes in the mantra of “Be Prepared”, but I think there is tremendous value in learning new skills. From financial to ecological to social to the personal, rediscovering a bit of “old school” know-how can pay a lot of dividends.

    I just read an article at Yes! magazine that is a good primer for this: http://www.yesmagazine.org/issues/a-resilient-community/crash-course-in-resilience

    Another cool element of skills building in the rediscovery of community that can come along with it. I read an article a while back about the Greater Denver Urban Homesteading Group (http://www.meetup.com/Greater-Denver-Urban-Homesteaders/) that just knocked my socks off. So very cool.

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Responses & Tweets

  1. Ali Dark says:

    [newness:] Sitting Pretty on a House of Cards http://bit.ly/aN6zRw

  2. Bill Gerlach says:

    "Make the most of what the world has given you to use" >> RT @alidark3000 Sitting Pretty on a House of Cards http://bit.ly/aN6zRw

  3. Raam Dev says:

    RT @AliDark3000: Sitting Pretty on a House of Cards http://bit.ly/aN6zRw