Make a donation with PayPal, VISA, Mastercard, American Express, Discover cards - it's fast, free and secure!

Home Page

Nonprofit founded in 1988


Culture Change Letter
via email
86 85 84 83 82 81 80 79 78 77 76 75 74 73 72 71 70 69 68 67 66 65 64 63 62
61 60 59 58 57 56 55 54 53 52 51 50 49 48 47 46 45 44 43 42 41 40 39 38 37 36 35 34 33 32 31 30 29 28 27 26 25 24 23 22 21 20 19 18 17 16 15 14 13 12 11 10  9  8  7  6  5  4  3  2 1  subscribe  index  feedback

Culture Change print magazine issues: 20  19  18  17  16  15  14  13  12  11  10  9  8  index

Pedal Power solutions to petroleum dependence and polluting vehicles: Arcata Library Bikes, Pedal Power Produce, and more!

CAOE - Committee Against Oil Exploration - stop offshore oil drilling to protect sensitive habitats and cut petroleum dependence.

Culture Change through music! The Depavers eco-rock!

Take our Pledge for Climate Protection and learn about the Global Warming Crisis Council.

SEI hometown action!
Arcata city council's proclamation against war on Iraq and Kyoto Protocol proclamation.

Overpopulation has become a reality.  Overpopulation Resources and News Tidbits

Sail Transport Network

Fact Sheets
Press Releases

Long Distance


Doing what you want to do 

In our culture we each suffer from constant outside pressure to do many things other than those that we really want to do. We are often denied respect for doing what we want to do even when it harms no one else nor ourselves. Oddly, few rage and question, "Who should dare rule me?"

Letís say you may need to pay greater attention to an aspect of your life, such as your body, on a daily basisóthe way YOU need to do it, at your leisure. To go your own speed. But do we do what needs doing? Less and less so. "Not enough time!"

We may just be in our homes, feeling guilty about doing something of cherished habit. It is oneís own time, and we each have our own priorities. Maybe you have to rub olive oil into all your skin after a shower or bath, especially if chlorineís effect bothers you. This takes time. But we try to perform for others and their expectations, and we are thus too busy to do what we really like. We even postpone healing, quite possibly shortening our lives, and so making others bear the cost of our poor health and damaged spirit.

Despite the wonder of jet travel and highways, it is hard to go just anywhere we please anymore, compared to former ages. At least in former ages, people could walk on down the road or the trail: "Off I go, and Iíll live off the land with or without my band."

Now "Itís all been fenced or paved" (The Depavers - ed.). Governments interpose themselves between "countries" such that some of us arenít free to go someplace, or in some cases anywhere at all perhaps. And the rest of us need to have passports or other forms of identification and numerical codes approved and controlled by the state. This is not the day to day, however. Letís start by questioning our usual state of being.

We are brainwashed to think we are having fun or getting a lot done, or that we simply have to "do things." Some of these things are unfriendly to our ecosystem, and are valued economically while more sensible, community minded pursuits are rarely carried out in a busy world where we are forced to deal alone with societyís challenges.

Many activities and tasks are approved by the bosses (in oneís family, perhaps) for the activitiesí capacity for selfishness or servitude to either corporations or the government. This may not be obvious to all.

Some of us instead feel part of a community or a nation, but itís harder to keep it up when the name of the game is massive enrichment for the few, secured with violence. We donít play that game. But we need to be able to feel more actively communal than the right to say "Have a nice day, Mrs. Jones." Hell, even borrowing a cup of sugar is getting to be a relic of decades past.

Meanwhile, there is little recognition for a family member staying home helping another family member, or increase self reliance by growing food in the garden.

Employment is a crime, as it is not necessary in an alternative system (that is conveniently suppressed with brutality). People all through U.S. society are told employment is the only way and that there are good jobs, as in, "thereís good voluntary servitude on that there plantation yonder." Thereís going on the dole, but can one then afford organic food and filtered water, as well as other essentials?

Even when we are on our own precious bit of personal free time, bosses or bureaucracies serve to interfere in our subconscious in goodness, privacy and freedom.

Pursuing oneís dream is a big issue. Is there "meaning to oneís life?" If you do have a dream, is it really your dream, or are we still trying "to live like the folks on the hill", as John Lennon sang? Whether itís to break into the upper crust or to be wealthy independently, it is really just the same discredited value system taking us nowhere but down into a cesspool big enough for the whole world. Some dream that is! Not so creative. Maybe we had other dreams, better ones, when we were younger and we retained some innocence. Then did we sell out and let others dominate us into not doing what we want to do?

Even a close relative or loved one can be a dominator. Itís common to dominate within families, sometimes as harmfully as slave mastersónot just of the body but more the mind. They have their axes to grind, usually for their own selfish, narrow ends. No wonder the dominant culture is a macrocosm of individualistic rip-off artists, most of whom are not very artful, but sad.

Traditional sustainable societies had some dominance, but when present it was usually based on earned respect or a survival formula shared by all.

Art of the fast: not Doing things fast

There is something to be said for not doing anything, sometimes. Our culture drums it into us that we should not be idle, that we should be doing things, almost constantly. People are resented for taking a vacation because some project or mundane task is slowed down or postponed. There are many good things to do, and some of us are successful in taking on many of these opportunities. But the result is usually busyness and a degree of nervousness. We strive for more good, to the point that such an active person is stressful. We get to the point where we are doing so much that we canít seem to do even one thing well.

Daily living isnít worthwhile without feeling good and healthy. But we are not allowed to take the time to heal. One low cost way of doing that is fasting, which slows down our pace and our perceptible universe. Just water, or some liquid diet is utilized. Toxins are eliminated and immunity raised, during an essential rest and break from the rat race. But our frenetic, get-ahead money-grubbing culture denies todayís citizen a fast, which involves doing virtually nothing. Employers and proponents of compulsory public school in U.S. know almost nothing of fasting, and serve the medical profession by advocating a quick drug fix for symptoms instead of a total organism approach.

To do what we want to do as free humans is the key issue, as to whether this society is worthwhile to us. The time has come when society and its privileged players are a threat to life, as made clear by so many observers including Al Gore (in his book Earth in the Balance).

Together, making change in our culture, we can start to do what we want to do and thus help everyone by example. "Do it!"


Articles of interest:
Measuring and controlling the actions of governments 

Anti-globalization protest grows, with tangible results. 
WTO protests page

Tax fossil-fuel energy easily
by Peter Salonius 

UK leader calls War on Terror "bogus"

Argentina bleeds toward healing by Raul Riutor

The oil industry has plans for you: blow-back by Jan Lundberg

It's not a war for oil? by Adam Khan

How to create a pedestrian mall by Michelle Wallar

The Cuban bike revolution

How GM destroyed the U.S. rail system excerpts from the film "Taken for a Ride".

"Iraqi oil not enough for US: Last days of America?"

Depaving the world by Richard Register

Roadkill: Driving animals to their graves by Mark Matthew Braunstein

The Hydrogen fuel cell technofix: Spencer Abraham's hydrogen dream.


Ancient Forest Protection in Northern California. Forest defenders climb trees to save them.

Daniel Quinn's thoughts on this website.

A case study in unsustainable development is the ongoing crisis in Palestine and Israel.

Renewable and alternative energy information.

Conserving energy at home (Calif. Title 24)

Culture Change mailing address: P.O. Box 3387 , Santa Cruz , California 95063 USA
  Telephone 1-215-243-3144 (and fax)

Culture Change was founded by Sustainable Energy Institute (formerly Fossil Fuels Policy Action), a nonprofit torganization.