In our last discussion, Craver commented that he struggles to spend time with The Few, as opposed to The Many. I observed that this is symptomatic of our "All-You-Can-Eat-Buffet" society.
In other words, we have access to a lot of relationships, experiences, technologies, goods, etc. In such a context, it's hard to focus on our own plate, to savor and appreciate what's there... to willingly choose "smallness of scale," where we can attend to details with creativity and passion.
A few days after our conversation, I opened up Jim Merkel's Radical Simplicity. Merkel is a former arms trader, who now works for peace initiatives. He shares an experience where he watched an indigenous group solve a problem together. It struck him...
"The elegant simplicity of cooperation and hard work was poetry in motion. This is what you do when you don't have a bulldozer, don't have cheap gas, and don't have a permanent war-time economy. These intelligent, creative solutions were outside of my box..." p.32
Sometimes I think we would be happier if we said "adios" to the All-You-Can-Eat Buffet. So many people suffer from a sense of meaninglessness. So many people live in little boxes, that all seem to look the same. We even sell our lives for the privilege, going into mounds of debt; or we work long hours or even two jobs to preserve the box.
Then, in the process, our opportunities for cooperation, intelligence, and creativity fall aside.
If you post something about the All-You-Can-Eat phenomenon, tell me, and I'll link to you. Also, Week Two of the Relationship Exercise is now in the comments of the post "Relational Engagement." Be sure to check out Craver's new comment too... the continuing saga of Mr. & Mrs. Craver!
Sara's Creative Squirrel-Proof Birdfeeder. Photo by L.L. Barkat.
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