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Thursday, December 8, 2011

They Told Him He Was Poor

As the story goes, an elderly man lies alone in his nursing home bed; his children all grown and leading what many consider to be successful lives; however, unable to care for their aged father. His is a story similar to countless others. He was born in the 1920’s, an era defined by its self-sufficiency. He was raised on the family farm. The family had all that was needed and they were dependent on no one. One day, during the heart of the industrial revolution, “they” told him he was poor. Poor because he didn't have the newest modern conveniences. Poor because he grew his own food and didn't purchase from the grocery chain. Poor because he didn’t have electricity. So he left the farm and went to work, working in the factory downtown, earning a wage. Now, unable to 
produce the things he needed at home because he was too busy working, he finds himself spending his wages by consuming things that have somehow become necessities; things that “they” said were necessities. He worked for “them” until he could no longer. “They” said these would be the golden years. He gave “them” his all and now…now he lies alone. 

I've made tons of mistakes in my life. I've followed false dreams that have shaped false hopes. I've built careers that profit not me, but my employers. No longer! Freedom from dependence will be ours.

The spirit of the dream lives on, just now it looks different. Together with my family, we are retracing our steps; in essence, going backward so we may move forward.

There was always a hint of it there with the homeschooling, frugal finds (yes we like to go dumpster diving) etc. but now as we search for sustainable homemaking, food storage, healthy eating, gardening, hiking…all of these things are meaningless without the knowledge of why we are doing them. 

We long to be a home recognized for the way we help others by the things we produce, not by the things we consume! All this starts for us with a fresh start in another state, with land that is ours, and with any luck not needing to work for "They" any longer.

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