The Today Society

October 20, 2009

When did we stop thinking 7 generations ahead? Why if we are so near-sighted do we have such difficulty being in the present moment?

I was eating my pasta for lunch and thinking: The Native Americans (Iroquois specifically) foresaw their affairs into 7 generations, my grandma cans and freezes her food for a year in advance but I, I don’t even know what I’m having for dinner tomorrow. I don’t think I am alone.

Who plans their meals for a whole week anymore? It used to be commonplace, a way to conserve food resources for example, the leftover chicken bones and fat from today’s meal would serve as chicken stew or broth for tomorrow’s. Has convenience replaced conservatism? Has this affected our sense of security? On one hand, we don’t think about things until the last minute while on the other we’re often worrying about what choice we’re going to make when the time comes.

We’ve come closer and closer to a reactionist society. We don’t think anymore, we just react. Hungry? Eat…. but eat anything because you’re hungry. Snow? I guess it’s time to go buy winter boots.  Why then don’t we feel like we’re living in the moment? Why does it feel like we’re trying to always catch up with ourselves?

I tried planning and I realized something marvelous. Instead of the panic and stress I go through on a daily basis of trying to invent something tasty, time-sensitive and convenient to cook, I sat down for a couple of solid hours on the weekend and planned my whole week’s meals. Yes, it took me a while but it was done in a calm time set aside just for that activity. The results were fantastic. I went grocery shopping once instead of 5 times during the week and I felt a huge relief every night to know that my needs were taken care of, that there was a sense of security and a relaxation. Not only did I save money and food because I could foresee leftovers, it felt great.

Canning food for the year takes a lot of dedicated time but on those unforeseen nights when you get sick or don’t feel like cooking, you can rest assured that you’ve already taken care of yourself.

The act of planning actually allows you to live more freely in the moment. It takes care of your most basic and fundamental needs of survival and well-being so that you can be present here and now. Lets start planning tomorrow and tomorrow’s tomorrow for 7 generations.

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