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"I see the changes many of us expect as bringing about a renewal of both the Earth and human consciousness."

I would like to add my name to those of the other readers who enjoy the "Current Reality" articles. I realize there are many people who find the subject matter negative and perhaps even a little frightening. I believe that it is, indeed, simply facing reality, and ignoring it won't make it go away. But more than that, I see the changes that many of us expect as bringing about a renewal of both the Earth and die human consciousness.

During our last presidential election we often heard about the desirability of increasing our standard of living. As I look around at our present circumstances, I can't help but wonder if that is what we really want... at least as defined by this society. I often think about how things are today compared to what they were when I was a child. It certainly wasn't a perfect world, but it was a heck of a lot better than it is now. And much of what made it better was what we didn't have, rather than what we did have.

I had no television or video games to stare mindlessly at for hours each day. And although many extol the educational merits of television, I and others like me somehow miraculously managed to become reasonably well-educated without it. Maybe we didn't learn to read and write and do math as early as this new generation, but we did learn, and many went on to be scientists and physicists and even President of the United States. I sincerely feel the detrimental effect television has had on our children far outweighs the positive.

What I did learn quite early in life was an appreciation for nature and animals and good books that has only grown stronger through the years. I loved studying clouds and watching a beautiful sunrise or sunset and I could do that without having them obscured by the haze that now hangs over most of our cities.

We did not have to concern ourselves with gangs in our streets or drug pushers hanging around our schools or people being shot or raped as part of some gang initiation. Nor did we have the insanity of children being murdered for a mere article of clothing.

Living on the outskirts of a very large metropolitan area as I now do, I'm sure I'm more aware of the problems that exist in today's society than someone living in a rural community. But from what I can gather from news reports and friends living in rural areas, the problems are gradually spreading to those areas also.

I can well remember when I was a kid that from time to time some man down on his luck would knock at our back door and ask my mother if she would spare some food for a hungry man. She never hesitated for a minute to fix up a nice plate of food and when he had finished eating he would thank her and be on his way. These days most people would be afraid to even open the door to such an individual. It was a simpler time when we weren't afraid to help someone or to ask for help when we needed it.

I will readily admit that there are a conveniences we can all appreciate that have made our workload lighter. For instance, I'm sure my mother would have loved to have had a tiller to dig u the big garden she planted every yea instead of doing it all by hand with a pitch fork. My grown children still have a problem believing that she actually did such a thing, but she did. In general, however, I have to wonder if we haven't paid too high a price for the so-called increase in our standard of living.

All of the things we thought we had to have--bigger houses, more cars, more money, and labor-saving devices of every kin-d-have apparently not brought happiness. Families have never been more divided, more unhappy, and in more stress than they are right now. The average home has the "automatic everything," but it certainly hasn't brought us closer together.

I am definitely now down-playing how painful a financial crash would be or how devastating it would be if there were massive earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. I have given this a lot of thought and in many ways it is hard to fathom all of the ramifications of such things.

What I can envision is how devastating it will be if we stay on the same course we are now following. That brings me a far greater fear than thoughts of financial crashes or Earth changes ever could. Something simply must take place that will alter the direction in which our society is headed, regardless of how drastic.

For myself, I am not looking at changes as doom-and-gloom or pessimism, but hopefully renewal. If it takes something drastic to make this happen, and I think it will, then so be it. For my own peace of mind, I have to believe things will change in this world for the better so that all of our children and grandchildren will eventually have a world that will be cleaner, simpler, and more loving.
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Author:Gatewood, Barbara
Publication:Countryside & Small Stock Journal
Date:Jul 1, 1993
Words:872
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