(Original columns of the U.S. Capitol, now displayed at the National Arboretum, Washington, D.C.)
The management of my neighborhood gym each day posts a "quote of the day" above each of the water fountains. I've been reading these quotes several times a week for several years, and they range from kinda sorta OK to breathtaking. Here's the quote that hung above the water fountains this morning:
"It is no measure of health to be well-adjusted to a profoundly sick society."
-- Jiddu Krishnamurti
I wonder if he is talking about--
a society in which money and power are valued more than the nourishment of mind, body, and spirit;
a society in which most people look outside themselves instead of within for validation and fulfillment;
a society in which, in pursuit of money, power, and validation, people deprive themselves of sleep and eat "convenience" foods loaded with hydrogenated fat, high-fructose corn syrup, and sodium (which constitute the bulk of the average inventory of an average grocery store);
a society in which technology has gotten so good and become so pervasive that everybody wants everything now and few people know how to prioritize or, perish the thought, set limits concerning what they can or intend to do;
a society in which, on the one hand, acceptable "entertainment" consists heavily of stories that glorify crime and graphic violence, usually involving guns, and on the other hand people wonder why crime is such a problem in real life;
a society that kills people for the most serious crimes, even though by its own laws killing is forbidden and its process for assigning guilt is admittedly imperfect;
a society in which, in the name of God, people divide themselves into groups that frequently insult, and sometimes even physically harm, one another;
a society in which many people have forgotten that mind, body, and spirit are connected; doctors tend to treat the part instead of the whole, the symptom instead of the root; and people always seem to be ailing with something;
a society in which many people will do almost anything to numb or otherwise mask any sensation or emotion that is not labeled "happiness" (take a look at the size of the pain-killer aisle at the drug store and/or the lack of unoccupied seats at your favorite bar if you don't believe me);
a society in which humans have polluted the earth, perhaps irreparably in the short term (i.e., a period that is easily conceivable by humans, as opposed to a period relative to the overall age of the earth) so that most of us can go anywhere we want, whenever we want, and do whatever we want once we get there;
a society in which we view all the items above as signs of "progress," even though people are suffering and dying from things like cancer and heart disease at much higher rates than in the past, and in which we now are susceptible to all manner of diseases that weren't observed at all 100 years ago;
a society in which so many people, both rich and poor, are bereft of spirit and overall health?
Does that kind of society sound familiar to anyone out there?
It is possible that the ongoing financial troubles, especially if they worsen, will more deeply entrench the kind of society described above, as people find ways to lay blame for their misfortunes and commit themselves to regaining all the money and possessions they have lost. On the other hand, it is possible that a long economic recession, or possibly even depression, will bring the members of such a society back to themselves, so that they see more clearly what is true, important, and good, both for themselves and their fellow citizens. If the economic downturn does the latter, it will have done us all a great service, in my opinion.
Regardless of one's personal financial condition or the overall fate of the US and world economies over the coming months and years, one always is free to choose which, if any, of the "sick" societal norms one wishes to believe and follow. Choice is a powerful thing, and it always is available. Always. How many things can you say that about? Go forth and choose wisely, my blog friends.
A Fond Farewell - Hear ye, hear ye, the end is here. I mean, the end of the Gold Puppy blog. I've been thinking about it for awhile now, wondering what in the hell I'm do...
3 years ago