The Center Cannot Hold

Is change inevitable? If we hold firm in our attitudes and actions, we can claim a moral high ground, yet we can also grow bitter and self righteous. If we go with the times, do we find we lose our center, that we are at the whim of the capricious winds of whatever our society or culture touts as the Way Things Should Now Be (at least until something new and different comes along)?

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Daylight is fading fast. Dogs are eager to get outside, play, run. Work day is through. I think about how lucky I am to have a job in today's economy. Grateful too for the flexible schedule and opportunities I have.

But many others are not so fortunate today. I wonder how we build a sustainable, locally independent economy. Regional economic fiefdoms?

If I don't buy my furnace air filter at Home Depot, and I don't want to buy one made in China or abroad elsewhere, do I have to learn how to make my own? Find a creative local handyman who can make it for me, and wants to trade for my skills of design or fast typing? Maybe this seems a ridiculous question.

My brain is overwhelmed thinking of the problems and serious issues of the day. We are not the first generation to face this hardship, nor are we alone, nor are we suffering worse than others. Indeed, billions of people around the globe worry about how to feed their families today. Most have no social safety nets, and no dumpsters to scrounge from if desperate, or even a local breadshop to steal from, if it comes down to that.. Not that I'm advocating dumpster diving or theft as a solution, but if it's a matter of eating or not eating today, I'd go for the dumpster or the bread loaf under the arm.

Now I'm completely off track.
What will America look like over the next 5-10 years as our standard of living decreases as the standard of living of those who now are design and make goods rises? The purchase we made yesterday will seem a very inflated price within the next decade, for many the hole is already in the balloon. We are living with the surplus of our consumer lifestyles, and until the excess commodities--houses, clothes, furniture, knickknacks, etc are used up, the retail stores will continue to falter. I've seen a half dozen stores selling secondhand goods open in the past few years in my community while the first run retailers fail. Now we'll lose the only department store left in the downtown core, as Macy's shuts its doors in 2 months, after a 95 year run (well, not always as Macy's, but as a department store).

I bought my daughter's Christmas dress at a consignment kid's shop this year for $8. Why should I pay $18 or $50 as some stores were asking for a 4 year old's holiday dress that she'll wear a few times?

I have no conclusion in mind to rap up this post, so I'll end with this: anyone want to buy a size 5T velvety Christmas dress? Barely used.

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