Outlined here in this article by Farm and Dairy, the words resonated deeply; painfully, almost, as I saw what was and what we now have become. It's no secret that I mourn some of the changes I observe, because so much of this "forward movement" philosophy seems to tear at what once held us together as society. What was so wrong about living this way that we had to demand more? As we - the society of "must have more" people - began to "require" fancier or exotic foods that aren't locally-grown, we looked to the big chains and specialty stores which cater to every whim and craving. Or maybe we became too lazy to go out to our nearby farms anymore, and then it became easier to just hop in the car and take a ride - and then when online shopping became the norm, it made life even smoother, right?
And so for the sake of "saving time" we cut ourselves off from area farmers and in turn they struggled and in many cases, disappeared. We can't be bothered with the tedious task of going into two, three or maybe even four different businesses to purchase what we need, and so we rejected the cornerstones of our community and left town to head to the Walmart supercenter 40 minutes away - all in the name of saving "time" at the Palace of All-under-one-roof! And then once you are there you find that it's not necessary to make conversation with people who would know you, as they do in small and local stores, because you just fade into the landscape of the anonymous large-scale chains and warehouses, where no one knows your name.
We bury ourselves in activities which segregate and isolate us from our neighbors and society and then blame "technology" or "progress" for our inability to relate, to the very people we claimed not to have needed anymore. We cry and complain about how we no longer know those we live near, and how sad it is to not have the "good old days" where people shared meals, homes, their time and lives....yes, we did all that, and no one else is to blame but ourselves. Three principles - possibly what some may consider pillars of what once built and made a place a town and a community and a neighborhood - three principles we now look down our noses at and snort about how quaint it all was back then. Three principles that we did our best to escape from; that we ignored, criticized, labeled as outdated and time-consuming.....those are the things we ultimately made part of our past. And as we piled up the reasons to avoid interaction with others, skip the local conversations and stop engaging with the people we live right next to......we lost ourselves. Do I sound disappointed? Maybe I am.