Wednesday, May 2, 2018

If not that, then what?

We’ve spent a lot of time thinking about what it is that we don't want to be doing, the addictions that are having negative and toxic effects on our lives, and how we don't want to be living. For a lot of people, this is as far as it goes - knowing that something isn't right, perhaps wanting to make a change, but then coming back to the same old problem. If this is how it's always been, are there any alternatives? Is there another way?

So now it's time to think positively, to imagine and dream of solutions instead of becoming overwhelmed by our problems. This, my friends, is the fun part! 

When it comes to substance addiction, the solutions seem pretty obvious - stop using those substances. Obvious definitely doesn't mean easy though, and in future posts we’ll talk about our experiences of how this has gone and is still going for us. For now though, even if it seems impossible, know that it isn't. Know that people have gone before you, tried and succeeded, and have made their lives better. The only way you can know if things could be better is to try something different. Only then will you have the experience of being on both sides of the fence, and you can make an informed decision about which side you want to live on. 

For us though, drugs are not the only drugs. We’ve come to see our modern lives as a trap, enslaving us in an never-ending loop of debt and work, with occasional time allocated for us to do what we ‘want’, although we’re being told what we want every second of the day by corporations who will stop at nothing to get the money we sold our time to earn. 

Have you seen ‘They Live’, John Carpenter’s 80s classic about a pair of sunglasses that allows you to see the world as it really is? If not, watch it immediately. But beware. Once you've looked behind the curtain, you can't unsee what you've seen, and you can't unlearn what you’ve learnt. This is what it was like for us - once we put on the sunglasses, more and more of the way the world works became impossible to live with. 

Our solution is pretty extreme - to reference another amazing movie, bit by bit we’re unplugging ourselves from The Matrix. We live off-grid in our solar powered campervan, and are visiting and working at communities and farms until we find what we’re looking for - a place to start again. We want to grow food, build eco homes and create a community (because all that sounds like a lot of work and we need all the help we can get!). Then we want to link with other communities, help other projects to start and grow, until there are so many mini-revolutions happening all over the world that things have to change. 

But we understand that not everyone is able to pack up their lives into a four meter box with no toilet and fling themselves into the unknown (but if you were interested in doing just that, we’ll have plenty of posts for you on how it can be done!). This is not the only solution. There are so many ways you can claw back some independence from the system, to build community and let's face it, fuck The Man. These are some simple ones to get you started: 

  • Never forget that you have power - spending power. Every penny you choose to spend supporting an independent business, or a company that doesn't test on animals or use child slave labour is a penny that doesn't go into the pockets of a few individuals who think nothing of doing that or worse just for profit. This is no small thing, especially if we act together. 
  • ‘Refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle’. It applies to more than just packaging. Think about what you're buying, and why. Could you try, just for a week or a month, to follow this catchy phrase, and see what happens. 
  • Growing food is a revolutionary act, and we really mean that. When corporations like Tesco have control over what you eat and are responsible for epic amounts of food waste, putting seeds in the ground, caring for them and eating the fruits of your labour is one of the most powerful things you can do. If you don't have a garden, kill two birds with one stone and find your nearest community garden. Or start one. Watch this video by gangsta guerrilla gardener Ron Finley, and get some bad-ass inspiration.
  • Put down your smartphone. Look up. See that human being in front of you. Smile at them. Remember how you met up with friends and found your way around before you had one? Give it a try. 
Hopefully that gives you some ideas. This is only the beginning; there's so much more to learn and so much more radical we can get, and we'll be exploring more options and possibilities throughout the blog. For now, we have a couple more questions... 

If not now, then when? If not you, then who? And most importantly, why bloody not? 

-the FREEDOM junkies

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