Why we live in the house that Jack built

flowers asters white pottery shardsI am doing research on a series about insomnia that I’ll be posting later in the week.  One of the concepts came across loud and clear in my reading.

You can create the most inviting sleeping conditions possible–dark room, good bed, quiet environment–but if a person is depressed, they STILL won’t sleep well! 

In other words, if you dwell just on the symptoms and don’t look at the underlying cause, nothing measurable is accomplished.

How does this relate to the concepts of simplicity and recycling?  I think they are related, and I am beginning to believe that recycling may be just treating the symptoms–too much stuff and too much consumption–and not looking at the underlying cause: the ability to be satisfied with less.

In the past I have always laid the blame at the feet of the media.  Indeed, as I watch less TV and live farther away from ‘window shopping territory’ I find that I AM consuming less.  That created need is not as visible to me and I don’t then find a need to act on it.  We humans ARE visual creatures!

But it is too easy to blame outside influences. I think the ultimate responsibility must rest with me. 

I AM the one, after all, that pulls out the credit card for that impulse buy that is inevitably clad in bubbles of plastic, that uses the batteries that die and have to be replaced, that needs to be stored so I have to get boxes and bins and new shelves which also come in their own multiple layers of theft-proof wrapping that need to recycled as well.

Do you remember that nursery rhyme about Jack?  It starts out very simply:

This is the house that Jack built.
This is the cat
That ate the malt
That lay in the house that Jack built.

But by the time it ends, many many events have been, in their own way, recycled:

This is the farmer sowing the corn,
That kept the the cock that crowed in the morn,
That waked the priest all shaven and shorn,
That married the man all tattered and torn,
That kissed the maiden all forlorn,
That milked the cow with the crumpled horn,
That tossed the dog,
That worried the cat,
That killed the rat,
That ate the malt
That lay in the house that Jack built.

Perhaps we are like Jack.

I am wondering if the clearest solution to recycling may be at the very beginning, with simplicity?

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About Intrepid Explorer

By writing we discover the world
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