Grasshopper Soup: America needs a new revolution
July 8, 2008
America is not the same as it was in 1776. The frontier is gone. Land is no longer up for grabs. The Lewis and Clark Expedition, or Corps of Discovery, set the stage on this continent for the continuation of man’s well intentioned but often dubious politics of conquest and trade, making plenty of friends and enemies along the way.
America today is an entirely different country from the one we settled in the 1700s and 1800s. The America of today requires a new vision. We must change the way we see life, the way we think about ourselves and what we think is important.
Our sheer numbers alone demand a change of priorities. Self sufficiency and fending for oneself, so necessary and important when America was composed almost entirely of frontier, no longer suffice as core principles. The gospel of capitalism is outdated. Liberty and justice for all can only be realized by personal restraint and service to others. Living for our fellow man, being of service to others, sharing more and being happy with less ” much, much less ” are the only values that can guarantee peace and happiness for us in the future.
In today’s society we all but worship financial and material success. But it is the simple man we should praise. The one who is satisfied with little and frequently prefers nothing, the one who takes little and leaves very little, if any, sign of his passing through this world.
Like a good camper, he or she is a true American hero. In today’s lingo, that is the description of a truly “green” person. Generosity such as theirs is rarely understood in our materialistic society. We must begin to cultivate an appreciation for a minimal way of life and start practicing selflessness in everything we do.
Ambitious men set the world in motion. Unambitious men set the pace, enjoy more leisure time and leave more resources for others. The fewer resources we consume the more there will be for others. It’s that simple.
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In today’s world, that is invaluable. The best way to give back to the community is to take only the very little you need in the first place. And we don’t need nearly as much as we take.
Those who manage to live completely “off the grid” may be the true adventurers, the real frontiersmen and women of our time.
We must abandon our worship of wealth, title, ambition, glamour and possessions and replace it with a celebration of simplicity, renunciation, even poverty. Instead of being absorbed with Hollywood stars, sports celebrities and the lap of luxury, we should elevate and congratulate truck drivers, janitors, dishwashers, mechanics, farm laborers and bus drivers, all of whom should be afforded the same respect, admiration and prestige as a doctor.
Ideas like these are not naïve or reckless, they are revolutionary. We need a new revolution. It would be to our credit if it started in America.
It seems impossible for the human race to get together and care for each other. It won’t happen overnight, that’s for sure. Living for others runs contrary to attitudes that have been centuries in the making, especially in a capitalistic society.
It may be that humans are incapable of working together to the extent required for making the kind of changes that will solve the problems of the world. Still, we must try. We have no choice. If we want peace, if we want to be truly happy, we will do whatever it takes to realize massive change and encourage others to do the same.
The question is, do we have the courage the original American rebels had?
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