> Living and farming sustainably is a choice that some make and it takes a
> lifelong commitment to continue observing, learning and changing the way
> we do things. It also requires a deepening of values/morals/spirituality.
> Another aspect of our spirituality is that we have compartmentalized it.
> We go to church on Sunday and are ruthless business people all the rest
> of the week. We should be dealing with everyone in a manner that
> reflects what we profess. But, sadly, it's business as usual and "All's
> fair in love and war...and business."
> How I deal with this is by trying to achieve the ideal of sustainability and
>spirituality in everything I do. We have committed ourselves to
>striving towards the ideal in all we do.
> We're inspired by people like the Nearings and inspire others we come in
> contact with. This is spreading the word slowly but teaching by example
> is far more effective over the long term than preaching once a week and
> going about our business as though what we said had no application in
> our lives the rest of the week.
> However, the majority of people are bombarded from all sides by
> advertising that convinces them that they have to seek "The American
> Dream." Most are all for sustainability, as long as it doesn't infringe
> on their ability to chase after the elusive "Dream".
And what an illusive dream it is!! There never seems to be enough
money or toys to fill the void of meaning in one's life. If the
material world is an illusion, as I would suggest that it is, than
surely the belief that material wealth is the road to fulfillment is
the biggest illusion of all. Seems to me that involving yourself in
sustainable ag. IS a spiritual endeavor (not withstanding the fact
that sustainable $profits theoretically follow), and in matters of
the spirit, something much deeper than logic prevails. I think
that the issues that Alex addresses in his letter go to the heart
of human nature and spirituality. I may be an economist, you may be
a scientist or business person (and I don't wish to take away
anything from these particular discussion foci), but underneath all
these labels we are spiritual beings with a desire to invest meaning
in our lives, but with the pecular aspect that we are often
misguided. Some people lash out and hurt others in an attempt to
seek love, many people lay up material goods when what they really
want is spiritual fulfillment. Even when we know intellectually
what's right, we often lack the maturity or will power to put it into
action. Even when we experience something better (ie, the spirit of
community after a disaster or the simple loss of electrical
diversions) we won't necessarily do what's so obviously right when
faced with the temptation of something else. I guess that's part of
the beauty of free will. We're all at different levels in our
spiritual development and whatever crisis may come, be they personal,
environmental, or Y2K, may we learn as much as we can from them. You
never know what a person is capable of becoming. Like Saul on the
road to Demascus who became St. Paul, maybe the next crisis will wake
up your neighbor, maybe an executive at Monsonto, maybe Bill Gates...
Or maybe it will take a few more lifetimes for most of these people.
I commend Alex for his way of living which is practicing what he
preaches. It's the only way I can make sense out of the meaning of
life on this earth.
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