Friday, July 29, 2011

Revolutionary Diary, Entry 3

A while back, a friend made an observation that we have a natural resistance to things that are good for us. She was referring to people who know they would feel better doing yoga, but they just can't get themselves to do it. I'm thinking about this in light of Grace's first chapter in her new book, "Growing Our Souls."

The observation points out that deep down, most of us know what we need to be healthy. We see this in healthy animals who know what to eat and when. It's a physical rather than intellectual knowledge, this feeling of "hmmm, I need something crunchy and green," or "I've overworked my legs today, I need to raise them up," etc.

So why do we resist these things that are good for us? Perhaps we also have a deep-seated resistance to change, which is connected to instability, which is connected to survival. I would surmise that the higher our level of privilege, the more we resist change, for we could compromise our very privilege.

This is the disservice unions in the late 20th century have wrought: replicating the system of privileges which they were created to resist. Unions, dependent on an economy based on exploitation and abuse, contributed to a growing middle class which has despoiled the earth, and made us unfit for survival in a post-oil world.

To do what is good for us will require us to renounce our privileges. The goal of leveling the playing field by "bringing people up" is a 20th century concept. Now we all must come "down" to the same level. Yvette Mitchell pointed out last night that "privilege is a disease." Unfortunately it's a disease few want to be cured of, ie an addiction. Growing our souls means overcoming the resistance to do what is good for us. What do you do to overcome that resistance?

1 comment:

peggy hong said...

of course multinational corporations are primarily responsible for despoiling the earth, but the middle class, as cogs in the system, contributed to this. it's difficult for us to take responsibility for the multinational corps but we can definitely take responsibility for our own middle class lifestyles, and begin the revolution here and now.