Can’t see the forest for the trees

*ALERT…Soap Box post*

Do you ever feel like you are the only person who DOESN’T care what the Kardashians are doing, or anyone in Hollywood for that matter?  The only person who turns off the Disney Channel in disgust for the way the kids on the shows are portrayed as being more intelligent than the adults? Maybe the only person who doesn’t read the news for the fact that it is now written for ratings?  The only one who actually really does care where their food comes from and how it is affecting us?

If so, you and I have something in common!  I got so fed up with television’s programming, the so-called ‘news’, and the junk that we stuff our faces with that I actually decided to do something about it.  Our Directv box broke down about 6 weeks ago.  Haven’t missed it YET, and have cancelled service.  We don’t even miss the evening news, which I thought Jason would just up and die if he missed.  Turns out all he watched was the weather anyway.  Now we are hooked on Netflix instant streaming video.  We can pick what the kids watch.  Last night we all watched Fraggle Rock, and I don’t know who liked it more; me or them!

If you are familiar with my blog, you will know that we do raise a LOT of our own food.  Do you know what you’re eating?  Foods are so full of preservatives, colorings, and artificial EVERYTHING nowadays.  When I think about food, I think about my days working at the veterinarian’s office.  Inevitably, one of the first 3 questions we ALWAYS asked was: “What is your pet eating?”.  Now, I want you to think back to your last doctor visit when you were not feeling well, and you tell me….were YOU asked that question? Ever? Oh sure, we all know we are supposed to eat whole grains and lots of vegetables and fruit, but….

Seems everything now is treated with a pill.  For crying out loud, Pfizer just came out with a DOG OBESITY pill recently.  I read that and I swear I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry, or what.  Come on now….who is really getting the benefit?  Does anyone think it’s the dog?  The owner, having to shell out who-knows-how-much?  Isn’t it obvious that the drug companies are the ONLY ones to get benefit here?  Here’s a revelation:  Drug companies follow the money.  Hello?  Anyone listening?  Sure, I am happy they are there.  We need the Pfizers of the world, after all, to a degree.  But not every malady on earth needs to have a pill solution.  Oh, and here’s your fat dog solution:  go outside and play with the darn thing.  A walk would benefit the both of you, mentally and physically.

As Americans, one of our worst flaws is our dependence on convenience.  We can drive just about anywhere we want.  We can get in our car and go and pick up food out of a little window, go back to our air-conditioned, perfectly temperature controlled homes, and sit in front of a TV with our choice of instant entertainment.  I  wonder how many people stopped to think once about where the wheat that made the burger bun came from.  Or the meat in the burger (which, if it is fast food, is almost always combined with an ammonia laced ‘filler’.  It’s true. Look it up.) Or the tomato, or the lettuce.  There is a price that we all pay for convenience.  We aren’t going to see it at the McDonald’s drive thru, but think about this:  Do you ever wonder who harvested those vegetables, who slaughtered your meat, or the thousands of miles that were driven to make that one 99 cent sandwich?

Does anyone but me wonder why people are so driven to make more money?  When is enough, enough? Have you ever wondered why there are people who make 5 times what you do, and yet they are still filing for bankruptcy and divorce?  Admittedly, we are not poverty level, but not too terribly far from it.  If all of my debts were paid off today, I could live very comfortably on what we bring home, and be happy with it.  I will be the first to admit that I am a very, very lucky woman who has a husband who knows his priorities.  And guess what?  Work is on down on that list, and we own our own business.  Yes, we take off of work to spend time with the kids.  Kids will only be little for so long.  I also realize that we are so extremely fortunate to be able to get to do this.  My plea to you is:  Please don’t fall into that common mistake that people make of working harder/earning more money ‘for the kid’s sake’, or to ‘be able to live a better life’.  The kids don’t care if you make five dollars or five hundred thousand.  They don’t care about your promotions or that you worked 70 hours this week.  They just want you there with them, spending time with them.  I hate the term ‘quality time’.  That is the most infinitely STUPID term I’ve ever heard.  Any time you spend with your kids/spouse/whatever IS quality time.  Whatever quality time is supposed to mean, I don’t even really know.  And, if you don’t have kids, then spend that time loving your spouse.  And if you don’t have a spouse, then spend some time for yourself.  Point is, don’t work yourself into an early grave just to earn some money to make that next big purchase.  Be a miser with your money, and save wisely.  Please don’t go blow your paycheck on a TV or a new car.  Or, just something that you really can’t afford.  Don’t try and ‘keep up with the Joneses’.  News flash.  The Joneses were last seen on the Mexican border using the alias ‘the Smith’s’, running from the IRS for tax evasion.  The Joneses were in debt up past their necks.

It’s time for us to wake up.  We have been sleeping for about the past 60 years or so, ever since we gave up our farms and all decided we needed to make more money (for WHAT?) and moved to cities in search of ‘jobs’.  It is time for us all to realize that Hollywood isn’t Washington, D.C., and it isn’t where the most important decisions are made that affects all of us.  Most importantly, it’s time to go outside and feel the sun on your face and get your hands deep in the soil.

You are a child of Nature.  You can laugh about that, but you are.  You are a part of something as large and as infinite as the Heavens themselves, and you are important.  We may just be a drop of water in an endless ocean, but we all are important and, most importantly, we are ALL connected.  A decision as simple as picking up a burger at a drive-thru, or buying all of our goods from non-American made sources really does affect people.  Maybe not you today.  But it will in the long run.  We are so preoccupied with Dancing with the Stars and American Idol, and who is breaking up with who in L.A., and how were gonna pay for all of that stuff that we don’t really need that we forget to pay attention to what really matters.  Ourselves. Our families.  Our environment. What our government is doing up there.

I don’t want to sound self-righteous.  I do things that everyone else does like take out food, shopping at WalMart and the Dollar Tree, etc.  But I am now conscious of my choices. Due to that, I am now a label reader.  I do care where my stuff comes from, and what’s in it.  I want to know what I am eating.  I want to know when our government is about to pass a law that will negatively affect us.  I want my children to grow up NOT sitting in front of a television set, and to be well-informed and aware adults.  I want us ALL to go outside more and realize that we are a part of something bigger than ourselves and that every one of us can make a difference with each decision that we make.

And, in my own selfish thoughts….I want every kid to know that an egg comes from a chicken and not a box in the grocery store.

(I send out a virtual hug to all of you now.  Now stepping down from my box and going to resume my much more comfortable position as humorist/farm life writer)

6 Comments Add yours

  1. Vera says:

    We get CBS 19. . .that’s it. Have a big old antenna on the roof & we get that one channel, plus one in Spanish. At the other house we had 2 channels plus one in Spanish. So for the last 13 years that all we’ve had & it’s more than enough.

    Hubby once asked if I wanted cable/satellite so I could watch the food network. I asked him if he wanted me to watch TV *about* food or did he want me to actually cook food! The same for gardening, etc. I can watch a show about it or I can actually *just do it*! LOL

    I don’t know much about current *culture* news. . . I don’t know who most of the celebrities are & don’t care to know about their personal lives.

    You and I are cut from the same piece of cloth!

    Vera

    1. msdoolittle says:

      Lol, I think so, too, Vera, and whatever cloth it is…I am sure it’s a lovely vintage one!

  2. Cathryn Bolen says:

    My darling Amanda. I love every part of you. I was standing where you are right now 40 years ago and am still standing there – although – I now don’t have the solace of a place in the country where I can grow most of my own food. To make up for it, I do my best to be an informed consumer (and I bury all my compostable wastes in the flower beds I’m trying to build up nutritionally. My darned worms died due to some unknown reason. They even had a heater – oh well, try again one of these days! I appreciate you and your points of view, and wish you had a national audience! Don’t stop.

    1. msdoolittle says:

      :0)

      If only everyone was on the same page…it sure would be a lot easier, wouldn’t it? Funny thing is that if I did have a national audience, I’d have people tearing my words apart with tooth and nail. Funny how people want to avoid the truth at any cost.

  3. Hear hear! Get on your soap box any time you’d like. I’m with you. Especially the part about addiction to convenience. Have you read Pollan’s In Defense of Food?

  4. I love your point of view and agree with you on every point. The comment about wanting every child to know where eggs come from reminded me of a very good idea my mother had. She thinks there should be a video made that shows the entire food chain of all our food sources from birth (or sprout) to the beef section (or produce section) of Brookshires and everything in-between and that it should be required in every American classroom. I wish I knew a film maker…

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