“Many of us pursue pleasure with such breathless haste that we hurry past it.” ― Søren Kierkegaard
We have forgotten the healing power of being, solitude, nature, meaningful work, a daily health practice, easy routines, friendship and loving our neighbor. We have been encouraged to avoid the simple, the daily, the ordinary and mundane to pursue complex and costly products, formulas and lifestyles of pleasure. Our consumerist culture has become one nonstop curation of pleasure that has robbed us of living our daily lives with the hope, joy, love and truth that we desperately need to be healthy human beings. When “what makes us feel good” is our only pursuit and the experience of pleasure is the only way we “feel”, then we will be reduced to the worst versions of ourselves existing in disconnected communities and living empty handed, emotionally numb, mentally exhausted, lonely and physically drained lives.
Stop and think about how long we havetried to live off the crumbs of pleasure and how long have we been starving for the daily nourishment that we need to be good and healthy human beings. Our willingness to continue to sacrifice our spirits, hearts, minds, bodies and relationships to string together temporary moments of pleasure, are witnesses to our undeniable faith and belief in pleasure’s ability to produce comfort, security, peace and rest. No doubt, we were made for pleasure but years of being told to pull ourselves up by our own proverbial bootstraps, to believe in a nauseating version of individualism and to embrace our entitlement to pleasure has forced us to live in a culture where no one one is helping each other remember who we are and how we are naturally designed to live in healthy relationships with ourselves, our neighbors and our world. As consumers, we are not only participating in the the destruction of our world but in the destruction of ourselves.
“But even in the much-publicized rebellion of the young against the materialism of the affluent society, the consumer mentality is too often still intact: the standards of behavior are still those of kind and quantity, the security sought is still the security of numbers, and the chief motive is still the consumer's anxiety that he is missing out on what is "in." In this state of total consumerism - which is to say a state of helpless dependence on things and services and ideas and motives that we have forgotten how to provide ourselves - all meaningful contact between ourselves and the earth is broken. We do not understand the earth in terms either of what it offers us or of what it requires of us, and I think it is the rule that people inevitably destroy what they do not understand.” -Wendell Berry
In a culture built on consumerism, there is no space or time to Be human, Be a friend or Be a neighbor, because we are so busy being consumers and chasing the latest advertised pleasure. In submitting to consumerism’s rules of membership, we have unwittingly avoided the necessary truths, practices, rhythms and routines that ARE ONLY ABLE TO GIVE us the real pleasure that we are so busy looking for.
To change your health will require a decision to stop being a consumer and living on autopilot. To find the pleasure you are designed for will require you stop looking for pleasure outside of yourself. By just stopping, we will naturally create the space to step away from our current culture and re-build a foundation of truth and understanding, so that we can start to filter the massive amount of information and misinformation and bad advice that we receive on a daily basis. Our first step towards health must be a willingness to be honest and to return to the basic practice of nourishment that freely gives us rest and helps us remember who we are and how we are naturally designed to be the light, the love, the hope and the help that we all desperately need! Pleasure can never be something we consume. Pleasure can only be found in the present moment when we are living as our true-selves and giving or time, talents and truths to love and encourage others.
Take the steps needed to practice health and rediscover simplicity, solitude and nourishment in your daily life. There’s no time to waste. We need you!