Thursday, September 20, 2007

Saving Trees, Saving Animals. Black Belt Stuff?

UBBT and 100 Teams,

(Response to UBBT'r who asked why we might add the following to the test)

The reason we would address an idea like "Save 1000 Trees" ---or "Save 1000 Animals" as a curriculum requirement of the UBBT isn't just about trees and animals, it's about consciousness.

It's about conscious consumption.

And consumption, what you and I consume, despite the fact that you and I might be totally and completely unaware and/or disconnected from it, has an effect on the world --and in a way that relates to personal self-defense.

The way I look at consumption is by bringing the world down to the size of my house. Imagine living in my house, with it's limited resources, with 10 other people. What if I consumed 80% of the food in it? How would that fare with the others when they were left with just 20% to pass among themselves?

How would I feel looking at them, face-to-face, after I'd used the majority of the hot water, the electricity, the food, the everything --leaving them, despite the fact that they have the same needs as I do, with so much less than I've had?

If we had to face the people in the world, face to face, people who do with so very much less than we have and use, we'd feel pretty weird. Maybe even ashamed. Would you throw away all the food you do in front of 20 starving children? Would you use things once
and then just toss them in a trash can -in front of people whose every owned object is precious and useful --who would be shocked at the waste we generate?

So you think, as Americans, we were born with the right to use anything and everything we want, without any regards for others -or for where the stuff ends up, or what others have to do to give us what we want, feel we need, and want to use? When did that happen? When did it become OK to
be so ambivalent about our abundance, our waste, our use of resources?

Well, it's a habit and a lifestyle and a privilege, isn't it? All the stuff we use, all the stuff that ends up in our mailbox, our trash can, our dumps and landfills.
It's our birthright as Americans to just use, use, use ---'cause it's never ending is it! It's NEVER going to end.
We can use a plastic bottle or cup 3 to 10 times a day, we can use it once and TOSS IT...because this is our right and it's the way of our people.

We can keep using trees, because they're a sustainable resource.
We can grow and harvest them in a way that we never, never, never have to even consider our usage. This is America anyway --and we're not altering our lifestyle for anything or anybody. It's our birthright! We consume without hardly a thought about it or a care for where it comes from or where it goes.

Conscious consumption is the master's way...this I have come to know. And it's easy, easy to talk about --but hard to do.

This is why we, as martial arts masters in the making -----in a program genuinely designed to investigate martial arts mastery -at the highest level, would entertain the idea of making the "saving of trees and animals" a part of it's curriculum. Our consumption in the world is an embarrassment. Our lack of awareness to it --is something we should look deeply at.

This is, in a deep and meaningful way, a form of my opinion.

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