Sunday, January 11, 2015

Green Eggs and Spam

Written for Healthy Indoors Magazine - March 2014

Oh my GOSH - I'm so busy!

We've all said it before, haven't we?  And while yep, it's true we really are pretty busy these days, after all, I myself am a mom with two kids, pets, a house to take care of and my own small business to juggle; I started to ponder that title statement a little deeper lately and question whether: a. it's true b. we've just become a totally self-absorbed society or c. our priorities are just all f%&ked up.  (Of course, it could indeed be a combination of all of the above - and probably is...)  But me being me, I wanted to delve in a little deeper.

So how is it that we have all this crazy technology that's supposed to make our lives easier, yet we seem to be "busier" than ever - which I believe is drawing us further and further away from any real sense of community, and along with it, accountability.

I keep joking around about wanting to get a land line phone with an old-fashioned answering machine and limiting my "online" computer time to no more than two hours a day.  I'm secretly not joking.

I want to listen to records instead of an iPod, read books instead of a Kindle, and buy 95% of what I need within 1 square mile of my house.  I want to talk instead of text - preferably face to face, not care if someone I haven't seen in 15 years removes me as their Facebook "friend," and have people really show up when they say on an "evite" that they're going to.  I want people online to only "say" things they'd be willing to publicly say out loud in person, instead of hiding behind their World of Warcraft warlock alias, and basically just be fricking decent human beings for a change.

Do you realize the average American spends anywhere from forty minutes to three and a half hours per week deleting spam from their inbox?  Isn't that just stupid?  I'm not immune to any of this stuff either, and am quite a pro at getting side-tracked and wasting time on what I would consider to be pretty petty, time-sucking, stupid crap.  I'm sick of the bullshit.  I want to be more present on a daily basis, help build our community and do what I'm able to do to make things better in the time I'm on this planet.

Would any of the great movements (Civil Rights, Women's Rights, etc. etc.) have been successful if they had taken place in today's ADHD world?  I'm really not so sure...

"Hey! A squirrel.  What's the game score? Hold on, I'm sending a text.  I need a Farmville cow.  Biggest Loser is on.  Did you tweet that?  I have to research my 752 other options before I decide.  Skype me.  No, instant message me.  Are you my LinkedIn contact? Did you read that in People? I hope Bieber gets sober.  I'll upload your download to my iPad."
Seriously.  It's really starting to get to me.  Propaganda A.K.A. PR (good 'ol public relations) has really truly done its job at turning us into a seriously dumbed down, numb, gadget collecting, small town superstar society.  Don't believe me?  Just watch the BBC documentary series "The Century of the Self" and see for yourselves.

It's all been on purpose and we've happily been sucking down the Kool-Aid power pops and snorting all the Pixie Stix, people.  Yuck.

Phoenix is a great place to watch this in action.  Having lived in Arizona for 15+ years now, I've had my own "coming to Jesus" moments with the fact this place really is my home, and is in fact the only place my kids have ever lived.  There are a whole lot of transients and transplants in Arizona, which I think lends itself to part of the "it's not my shit" problem we have going on here, and everywhere for that matter.

Well guess what?  IT IS YOUR SHIT.  And even if it really isn't your shit, but you stepped in it, are you the kind of person who will just leave a pile of poo in the middle of the sidewalk for someone else to step in too?  Are you the kind of person who won't clean the poo off your shoe so everyone you encounter has to smell it too?  We all can and should help clean it up.
Okay. Back to technology, being present, community and what this has to do with cleaning up poop and being really busy. I will also add that I’m a bit of an idealist, so do have hope for our society.

The past couple of weeks here in Arizona made me very proud of my community. While the national media and late night talk show hosts were (rightfully) slamming Arizona over the blatantly discriminatory Senate Bill 1062, I watched a beautiful, community driven, grassroots effort unfold before my eyes.

Technology was utilized for good to share information regarding rally times and online petitions were quickly created. The Governor’s inbox was flooded with emails urging her to veto the bill. I wrote a pro bono media alert for a food truck owner who passed out 150 free cheeseburgers to rally attendees ( Hundreds of people showed up for days on end to use their voices and time for good. The pictures shared through social media were amazing. Very powerful stuff…
Though our state has some serious reputation management to contend with in the coming months and years (which I discussed on Channel 12the day of the veto) -- the bottom line is that people came out en masse to help clean up the shit. Together, the community took action. In my opinion, this is a tipping point for us and one that can serve as an example to other communities.

If we can all spend three hours a week deleting spam from our inbox, and another 32+ hours a week looking at crap online and another 16+ hours a week watching television shows; then surely we can find the time out of our very busy schedules to attend something worthwhile that will create positive changes within our community for not just us now, but also future generations.  A rally, a community empowering event, a documentary screening, or a roundtable discussion.  If you're not a creator, be a supporter.  Just get off your ass and help pick up the poop.

Let's start being pro-active so we don't have to be so reactive.
If you’re interested in tracking state and federal legislation so you too can create positive change, here’s a tool to help.

A sustainable community is a diverse community. Sustainability big picture should touch each and every socioeconomic class, every race, gender, sexual orientation, age, and most importantly, should embrace everyone.

“The day the power of love overrules the love of power, the world will know peace.”
― Mahatma Gandhi

Love and laughter,

Msss. Champion

No comments:

Post a Comment