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Once upon a time, having a garden, a small flock of back yard chickens, collecting rainwater, and not depending on the supermarket were well accepted, almost required, practices. Everyone made an effort to grow their own food. We didn’t have home owner’s associations telling us it wasn’t aesthetically pleasing. We didn’t have city and town ordinances keeping us from being self-sufficient and providing what we could. We didn’t have a society quite as obsessed with the consumer mentality most of our modern society has adopted.
Once upon a time, gardening wasn’t a fad. Knowing how to put back your harvest wasn’t an unknown, or scary, skill. Living with less, and within your means, wasn’t frugal or being minimalist, or whatever buzz word you want to insert. It was all a way of life. Folks lived this way without it being frowned upon, considered different, or being unacceptable.
Once upon a time, people were happy and had family time. They worked the land, lived simply, weren’t indebted to creditors until they died of old age and passed that debt on to their loved ones. They didn’t go to a job 60 hours a week, never have any time at home, and still struggle to make ends meet. People didn’t look to their government to see what they could get for “nothing.” Hard work and skills were viewed as necessary.
Once upon a time…
People were free.
Let’s think about all of that for a minute. When did we become so ostentatious? It’s all about appearances in our modern society. Keeping up with the Jones’s is now the routine requirement to say you’ve accomplished something, became someone. Buying the fanciest clothes, the newest cars, the biggest, newest houses. Keeping your “lawn” well manicured. Free of all the dandelions and other weeds. Mowing it to a particular height like clockwork once or twice a week. Filling our properties with big houses and bigger swimming pools. Having three car garages filled with fancy cars and decorations.
When did we become so money obsessed? He who has the most paper with numbers written on it wins. When did life become a race? We are all going to meet the same end. Why rush it? Why work it all away like a dog to have the fanciest, most expensive items? Why do you need the latest smart phones and the biggest TVs? We numbly sit around trying to find what will make us happy. We buy buy buy, but there’s still that empty space inside.
Did anyone ever stop to think why?
Why have we adopted this belief that not having the best lawn on the block and the fanciest car just isn’t good enough? Why do we no longer find the simpler way of doing things acceptable? Not being hooked up to grid utilities in a lot of areas is illegal. They can condemn your house. Having a garden in your front yard is against city ordinances in a lot of areas. Having a garden just isn’t aesthetically pleasing anymore. Having chickens in your backyard will not only irritate many neighbors (in many suburban and urban areas), it’s against the law in numerous places. Having a clothesline or collecting rainwater are also against the rules most communities have in place.
Why is living simply and providing for your family so disgraceful now? When did it become someone else’s job and right to tell us what acceptable forms of living are? Why can’t we grow our own food or live off grid without fear of legal ramifications? We say we’re free, but we must conform. When did that start to make sense to people?
If you’re tired of running the rat race and trying to keep up, stop. Stop what you’re doing right now and think…. What will make you happy? I can guarantee it won’t be a new car, or the latest gadget, or a bigger house. Take a trip and go for a walk in the woods, or along the beach, or up a hillside. Get out of the city. Take your kids fishing, camping, or exploring. Breathe in the fresh air and take in what all nature has to offer. Then you’ll know.