For the last 2 weeks I have been in my own particular Paradise; it's a small village in the North East of Catalunya. It is Paradise because my parents have a house there that sits right over the sea and, for 2 weeks, our kids become feral, we sail in a little boat around the area, my mom cooks the best food, and life is good, really good.
Why is it then that, after the first couple of days I feel torn inside? Why do I feel fortunate but guilty? Why do I feel I am part of the crowd but not "one of them"? Why do all my zero waste habits - among others- seem hipocrytical once I am so close to Nature, which in turn brings me close to my own human nature?
It is because I am one of the World's most fortunate people in a time when everything is telling me the World needs to change. This, of course, is not new; What is new to me is that now I see it and feel it everywhere and all the time: In my children's addiction to their cell phones, the overconsumption even moderate people incur into, how self-conscious I feel when I compare myself to other women, how complex and inhumane politics are, how much we identify with our possessions and status, how people I love and who love me perpetuate patriarchal attitudes (even myself…)
In a very very basic and naive way (although I am trying to fill in the gap in order to understand better), I am becoming aware of where we are as People, and, as Eisenstein's The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know is Possible explains, how we are in between two Worlds, one of Separation and one of Reunion...
I undestand that the discomfort I feel is part of the process of becoming aware as an individual, as I understand that I still have to do what I feel is right, like writing this post even though it is an invisible act with no effect in a world outside my own. But still, by changing myself I am changing a part of the World. That is something I know is true, too. I am one with Nature and with all its beings; That is also another one of the things I now feel all the time.
On the other side, I don't know how willing I am to give up more of my priviledges besides the one's I have already parted with, (the easy ones, the ones that look good on Instagram and on family meetings like buying second-hand lawn-mowers or mending socks). Would I be willing to use less water because there are terrible droughts happening closer and closer to my home? Would I be willing to not go on vacation because traveling by plane is one of the worst CO2 producing actions an individual can take? What about you? Are you willing to live without AC? to become a vegetarian?
Or should we not give up anything and see what happens? Maybe this will accelerate a crisis that, because of its almost insignificant effect on us privileged people and thanks to our amazing adaptation to change, we are reticent to call real and decisive.
If you too feel like this, don't miss Eisenstein's book. You can read it for free (like all his other books and resources),here
or buy it in your favorite bookstore.