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Is this what you want for your life and your children? (draft)

We say that America is the best place in the world. The following questions are about the way Americans now expect to live. Answer them and ask, "Do I still feel that this is the best?"

Is this really what you want your environment to look like?
paved, lifeless, mechanical, rigid, artificial
Is this really the way you want to start and end your day?
stress, rushing, isolation, pollution
45 minutes stressed and alone twice a day.
Is this really the way you want to work?

isolation, alienation, dependence on the machine, artificial procedures, goals, and consequences

8 hours each day serving time for dollars

Is this really what you call home and family?

neglected, un-nurtured, separated, alone, silent, stimulus dependent

3-4 hours each day devoid of sharing with loved ones

  Did you add up the stressed, isolated, dependent and unfulfilled hours listed above? What time is left for friends and family? For loved ones? For things meaningful and spiritual? For truly living?
Why do you think so many Americans are medicated for depression? (Over 30% in some areas!)
Why are we so driven by a need to control the lives of our citizens with drugs?
  • Do you really believe that this way of life is the best for you and your children?
  • Do you really believe that we help other cultures by teaching them this way of life?
  • Do you really believe that we are justified in imposing this way of life on the rest of humanity using debt and military?

The myths of a culture tell about the lives that people in that culture live. We put our myths into movies. What do the recurring themes tell us about our lives and feelings:

American Beauty: A story of isolation, emptiness, and the loss of beauty in the modern world
Life as a house Everybody in the story is trapped by the burdens of modern life. One has to face death to realize its time to escape those burdens.
Matrix A futuristic sci-fi of people being so enslaved to the machine, they don't even realize that the machine exists. Only a few have the depth and courage to break out.
The Breakfast Club, Heathers, the teenage angst genre School is a socially alienating place. Even high status can be alienating. Authority is alienating.
Star Wars lives in the empire are inauthentic, out of touch with feelings, out of touch with the "light side of the force"
body snatcher genre sci-fis something is infecting people and robbing them of their spirits, or minds. Once they become infected they willfully take part in spreading the infection

Why do you think these myths recur so persistently, and Americans identify with them so strongly? Do you want your children's lives to have the emptiness that these myths (movies) reflect?


Remember the so-called "primitive" cultures that we are eliminating. What do they have, that we have lost?

together, sharing
quiet times with nature and each others

For further reference on the beauty & spirituality of "primitive" cultures and peace with nature, see:

  • Margaret Mead - anthropologist who recognized the validity of other cultures
  • National Geographic - respectful reviews of "primitive" cultures
  • Chief Seattle's Letter (1)(2)(3) - a profound expression of the beauty and spirituality of "primitive" societies
  • Mutant Message Down Under - a American experiences life with a very beautiful "primitive" people.
  • John Miur and Henry David Thoreau - two Americans who escaped Western materialism to find peace with nature
  • Joseph Campbell - wrote about what myth teaches about the human heart and societies