Searching for a Simpler Way of Life
There is something appealing about turning back to nature and a simpler way of life. Yet is it really simpler? If we actually had to go back to living just on what nature provides, on what we grow, that would be a pretty tough existence. So why are many of us finding it so appealing?
Let's just figure this out.
Growing up I looked forward to getting “freedoms” to be able to do the things adults did, but those freedoms no longer feel like freedoms. Having a house with a mortgage ties you to your lender. That house will never be yours until the lender is paid off. Even once the loan is met, there are taxes on the property. If you don't pay those then government agents will eventually take the property from you and sell it for their tax cut. They only want to get what they have decided you owe them, no more than that, so they aren't worried about getting any more for the house than will cover that tax debt and they don't care what happens to you once you have no home. So your home is still not yours, unless you can continue to pay those taxes; which means you are forever leasing from someone else.
At one time, once you passed your driving test you were granted a license that would last for the rest of your life, assuming you didn't rack up enough points to lose it. Then around the time I passed my driving test it changed. You now needed to have a photo license and this had to be renewed at least every ten years, at your expense of course. For many of us, learning to drive and passing tests can be quite stressful and there is an appeal to the idea that at least you only have to do it once then its over and done with. However, this is not the case in our “civilised” system.
Once you get your license, then having a car will surely bring more freedom to travel? The cost of running and maintaining a car along with the registration taxes and compulsory insurance can mean that you’re working to pay for the car that gets you to work. Let's hope you don't drift above the speed limit or accidentally break some other road rule, or that week's wages might also be gone to pay that fine.
Then you're restricted to your country with just a car, so to leave you need a passport. A passport requires documents, proof of who you are and, of course, money. Then travelling itself costs, so that freedom is limited to your wealth level.
Over the years more and more documentation and licensing has been added to our day to day life. For each thing you might want to do, certain amounts of proof of identity points are required. Sometimes those points can only be made up with a passport or driver's license, which are beyond the budget of some people.
Here in Australia, even rentals are starting to ask for police checks, which require a lot of proof of identity points, in particular, proof of date of birth. If you're Australian born, then your birth certificate is valid, but foreign birth certificates are not.
More and more employers are requiring that you have drug tests before they employ you. The process requires that you pee in a container, under supervision. My female friend said that she had a curtain that the supervisor stood the other side of, my husband had his done in front of a camera which pointed down to film as he urinated. I guess you could refuse this invasion of privacy, but then you won't get the job.
It seems the less money you have, the less freedoms you have, but in order to earn the money to pay for these things you have to commit to work, which pretty much restricts your free time to a few days a year. As work becomes scarcer and costs become higher, what happens when you can no longer afford to pay your bills and buy your food? In modern times, everything costs money, so you keep jumping through the hoops and each new hoop they add in order to survive, with a fear in the back of your mind, what if you end up in a position where you can no longer jump through those hoops? How do you feed yourself and your family when you don't have money?
When I think about all this, the appeal of nature starts to become apparent. You see nature is transparent in how she works. She doesn't ask for money or for proof of who you are and if you're allowed to be there. Nature has a cycle which means everything has its function and use and everything feeds everything else. As long as you have water, there will be life.
If you're growing a garden you can spend money on things to help it grow, but if you don't have any money, you don't have to buy things. Nutrients come from other organic matter that is cast off by plants and animals. Water comes from the planet itself, although governments and corporations are even trying to control that. Plants and animals don't know borders, they live where the climate allows for their survival and that is their proof of whether they're “allowed” to be there.
When you compare this to what our western system has become and is becoming, it does start to feel like going back to nature is a much simpler life. It may be physically harder, but going back to physical work and the outdoors does wonders for our mental health and, to me, that indicates that we aren't living how we are meant to be living when so much of the population is struggling with mental health issues.