Culture Waves (Guest Post)
Matt is a massage therapist devoted to supporting the sustainability community through bodywork, volunteering, and spreading the word (see: Bright Side Body Therapy. In his practice he works with people who want to make changes in the world, using massage to help them make changes in themselves first.
In some way, we’ve all noticed the waves that occur in popular culture. How many times have you heard that the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, or 90’s are coming back? This mechanism must be some part of the way we evolve culturally, reaching out to the extreme of a whim, and then snapping back like a rubber band – it’s a great way to learn the boundaries of possibilities.
We seem to be in the midst of at least a few snap-backs just now. We’re exploring what feels like an extreme of technological and economic possibilities. While new ways of exploiting fossil fuels, microsurgery, hormone therapy, etc expand to more and more people, young, educated folks are catching on to old stand-by’s like canning, producing their own food, caring for their bodies consciously, and considering the long term effects of their decisions. It’s like the industrial revolution is swelling and swelling, and the first frothy lip is forming at the crest – and the best part is it’s not a step backwards! We’re taking the lessons of industry, of its might and its plight, with us.
Right now it’s very possible to have a future where it’s common practice to maintain your inner and outer well-being by practicing conscious body mechanics in your daily movements, good dietary choices, and regular self-maintenance like massage, acupuncture, yoga, strength training, cardio work outs, etc and to use drastic measures like prescription drugs and surgery only when they’re absolutely necessary. It’s also likely that the motivation for sustainable practices will catch on in the world of aggregate commerce such that you could walk into a store in any country and buy any brand of vegetable oil without wondering if the way in which technology was used to produce it, package it, and distribute it could continue to be practiced indefinitely, given the finite resources and fragile ecological balance of our habitat.
We’re learning just as fast as we can what industry can do for us, and it’s up to those who know enough to care to make it clear what to carry over to the next wave, and what to let slough off the back.