“It’s Just Business” and Other Warning Signs of a Society in Crisis


How many of you have heard or been told at some point in the span of your career, “it’s just business” or, another favorite, “it’s not personal”? Have you ever walked away slightly perplexed by this seemingly innocuous statement, one that somehow seems like just another day within American working society? While it may seem like nothing, I would argue that this and other trends are acute warning signs of a society in deep imbalance and moral crisis, compounded by and perpetuating the very real threats of climate change, chronic illness, divisiveness, and debt. We are actually gaslighting ourselves into apathy.

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The Wasteful Business of Thanksgiving: Taking a Page from The Hunger Games

Last Thursday I went to the premiere of Catching Fire, the second story in the Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins. In it, our two victors from coal-mining District 12, Katniss and Peeta, dine at the cosmopolitan Captiol at the end of their victory tour. Food is stacked high on every table and, already full from trying one too many treats, Katniss and Peeta are offered the Capitol fix – a  little cocktail intended to “make you sick” so you can keep on eating. Katniss and Peeta, being from a district where hunger runs rampant, decline.

This story (and the Capitol in general) offers a great analogy for the general excess indulged in by wealthier nations on a year-round basis but which becomes exaggerated during the holiday season. It’s easy to become caught up in the festivities surrounding Thanksgiving, Christmas, and other winter holiday traditions, and to overdue it. It turns out that more is at stake than just a few wasted turkey bits when we throw out uneaten leftovers after the holidays. Continue reading

A PLACE for Sustainable Living Launches with Celebration & Workshops

Living Peace Mandala

Components for the peace mandala.

A PLACE for Sustainable Living attracted over 100 Oakleyville residents with the celebration of their official launch yesterday, Sat. 7 May, 2011, featuring local vendors of sustainable products, workshops on beekeeping, cob building and herbal salve making, food, music and more.

The center is the brainchild of the Sustainable Living Roadshow, a volunteer-organized biofueled caravan that tours the nation each year to showcase and inspire sustainable living practices. Continue reading