Thursday, October 11, 2012

Good and Evil in the Garden

"Let us never forget that the cultivation of the earth 
is the most important labor of man. 
When tillage begins, other arts follow. 
 The farmers, therefore, are the founders of civilization." 
Daniel Webster

Mother Rabbit with a snack of dandelion leaves

Yesterday, three of our baby bunnies went missing.

They were taken by neighborhood kids, who were overcome by the cuteness of our wee little rabbits. Can you blame them? I may have done the same, 20 years ago. (Gah! So old!)

Trouble is, the baby bunnies are not yet weened. Taking them from the mother rabbit is a death sentence. Of course, the kids didn't realize this. On a hunch, two friendly gardeners made a visit to the kids' grandmother and explained the situation.

By this morning two of the three baby rabbits had returned. The third, I'm sorry to say, will not have survived this long away from the hutch.

 We run a community garden, and happily share our knowledge and harvest with our neighbors. We have greens and veggies and gourds aplenty! For the most part, our neighbors have been friendly and supportive of the garden. We've canvassed the neighborhood, introduced ourselves and invited everyone to stop by and take a look (and some food) whenever they're free. There are no locks on the gates, and plenty of food and flowers to share. Good communication has helped the garden. Some neighbors are protective of the plot when we're not there, and are happy to have a robust garden on their block. After two years of toiling in the dirt where abandoned houses once stood, we've been accepted as a part of the neighborhood.

Unfortunately, not everyone has been so welcoming. When people become suspicious or feel threatened they resort to selfish, hurtful acts. The garden has had its fair share of  anonymous, destructive events. Last month, we found a long fluorescent light bulb smashed and hidden amongst our tomatoes.  This is not the first time a stranger has tampered with the rabbits, but it is the most egregious.
evil tomato by jv9ufxcy on DeviantArt
 I don't know if it's the election, or the books I'm reading, or just my own paranoia, but there seems to be an awful lot of evil in the world, these days. I'm not exactly saying that today is worse than yesterday, or last year, or the last century... but it is NOT any better. Rather than think critically and make independent choices, more and more Americans (Earthlings, really) have fallen in to the mass media / consumerism trap. You cannot easily blame these "Sheeple" when everything they've been told to think and do has lead them into this trap. We can't think and speak independently in this "modern" world. There's too much information being thrown into our faces, so quickly we find it impossible to successfully synthesize and process. It's easier to tune out, or rather to tune into something more palatable and mind-numbing.
 There are so many seemingly-important news stories that it can be hard to keep up. And why keep up, anyway? Increasingly, I feel like I can't make that much of a difference. Our most powerful tool to bring about change is our vote, but I feel as though my vote is increasingly marginalized.Some say you can vote with your dollars, which is true, but also largely ineffective. What we need to do is start TALKING to each other about things that really matter. We need to stop staring at our computers and smart phones and start looking into the eyes of people around us. Talk to your neighbors, co-workers, family and friends. Find out what's important to them, and what they think of our current state. When we're afraid and distrusting of one another, as well as our news sources and government, who else can we turn to but ourselves?

We are constantly barraged by "unbiased" news stories and the opinions of others. In this sped-up globalized world, what's important is often overshadowed and quickly buried by the latest political mumbo-jumbo and gobbly-gook. We often forget about the details of the last article that seemed so important, which is what "they" want from us. Quiet consumption and little actual action makes this oligarchy's job far easier.

Enough about "us" and "them," though. I won't go all Bilderberg on you, today.

When we stop listening and thinking critically, and stop talking to one another about where our society is headed, what will become of us?

((edited 10.15.12))

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