Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Wake Up and Smell the Coffee

“What is night for all beings is the time of awakening for the self controlled; and the time of awakening for all beings is night for the introspective sage.” Bhagavad Gita 2:69

Now that the hullabaloo about the national gas tax holiday has subsided, don’t lose heart. There’s still a few things that you can do to test your metal, have an healthy and entertaining summer, and make a real difference. You don’t need politicians to come up with cheap solutions that are really no solutions at all. Will this November’s election really solve anything? Why wait for someone to do something for us? If enough of us are on the same page it could turn into one big ‘We” with the clout of a high priced lobbyist, pushy senator, out-of-control Supreme Court judge, or an insider presidential advisor. Fact: The bottom line for corporations is where and how We, the People spend our money. That means you can vote with your wallet every day of the week. Here’s four simple things that you can do to help yourself, the planet and the economy. From now until Labor Day try this -

1) Stop buying gas from Exxon – Mobil. This is one company. Out of all the gas companies Exxon - Mobil has the biggest profits. If their gas stations are idle, you’ll see their prices come down quickly. This will set off a price war between gas companies vying for your patronage. Another thing, just because oil companies want to renew off shore drilling doesn’t mean that our gas prices will come down. They will sell to the highest bidder no matter who or where they are. If off shore drilling is increased, will legislators insist that the oil be used for USA consumption?

NOTE: Most people mistake the dark night of material wealth created by greed as the day time of prosperity.

2) This next one is not for the faint hearted. This may almost be impossible – (Forgetabout boycotting the Olympics this August). Stop buying things made in China altogether (a side note - our government doesn’t let us buy stuff made in Cuba. Maybe it should. It would be cheaper than shipping it all the way from China. What’s the difference?). We, ourselves, are to blame for the gas increases. Why? Because we buy foreign made goods. We’re getting items from all over the world (wherever there is cheap labor) of which China is the largest importer to the USA. Because of the tremendous economic growth of China, and also India, their use of cars and demand for oil has increased multifold over the past decade. On top of that, the fact that so much of what we consume has to be shipped from half way around the world is just plain bad for the planet.

NOTE: The self controlled can use natural resources wisely and in moderation without creating an imbalance to the environment.

3) Don’t buy any produce that’s grown outside the country. The regulations for food production in other countries are lax or nonexistent. In general, buy mostly that which is grown or made in your country, or better yet in your state or area. It will be better for you, for your community and for the world So don’t be a lemming. If we don’t voluntarily learn to modify the ways and habits of our consumption, the unfolding waves of circumstances will force drastic change upon us and our children sooner or later.

NOTE: It’s already happening and one must remain undisturbed like an introspective sage.

4) Stop eating meat. Really no big deal, especially when we realize our own health and happiness is what’s at stake. And there are all sorts of unseen costs for growing and transporting beef. The decisive factor is that this simple, revolutionary act of refrain will nourish and expand our compassionate nature and help us to understand our connectedness to all life forms and to the world around us. To act compassionately, free from greed, is one of the basic principles of spirituality, as it is vital in opening the portal to our higher, eternal nature. We must practice living in the awareness that all things are connected.

NOTE: Many people remain in the darkness of night, unaware of the suffering of others.

RECAP: From now until Labor Day 1) stop buying from Exxon-Mobil (at least until their prices come down), 2) stop buying imports from China, 3) stop buying produce grown outside the country, and 4) stop buying meat. Try going for all four. If you can’t do all four totally, at least do any one or two. You’re on your way. Good luck.

And for additional bonus points try these two harrowing experiments until Labor Day:

1) Don’t use your credit card. Stick with debit card or use cash for everything.

2) For at least one day a week, stay off your computer and TV. Get out and talk to the folks in your community.

So stay well, physically, emotionally, spiritually. Be grateful. Pray. Have a healthy sense of humor. Laugh. Find your creative self. Speak up. Be flexible. Get involved! Interact!

FYI - The saying “Wake up and smell the coffee” is said to someone to suggest that they begin to pay attention and try to see the true facts of a situation or event which is relevant to their lives. Recently, a study revealed that the attention of sleep deprived rats was boosted when they were exposed to the aroma of roasted coffee beans. See: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/17/science/17objava.html?_r=1&n&oref=slogin