Shared Vision

It’s time for our species to have a shared vision.

…stop…

I drove to visit my parents in my home town yesterday. It’s a rural place. Forgot to prep my car’s batteries before the charge so lost a lot during the drive there in the cooler weather. No chargers in that town so had to drive to the nearest city to charge. That city was a quarter of the size twenty five years back when I worked there. Now it is an ugly sprawling metropolis of mini-malls: Fred Meyer, Starbucks, Lowes, Target, Barnes and Nobles. Miles and miles of this, concrete and consumerism. There was not attempt to make the city beautiful or inviting. It was an ugly mess.

…stop…

I think about how few people lived on the continent two to three hundred years ago and how many millions do now. I think about how small towns have turned into sprawling cities that look alike in ugliness. I think about how we’ve created this for more people working more minimum wage jobs without benefits while a few elite earn millions and billions off their labors while they have to drive further and further, polluting the planet, so they can live this, the American dream, the dream of reaching for something they can never have in a concret strip mall.

…stop…

It’s time for our species to have a shared vision.

Is our purpose simply to work and consume? That is what it seems those with money and power seem to believe. If not, why did I not see trees and grass and parks? Beautiful walk ways and charging stations? Where were the local businesses, the smiling faces?

…stop…

We cannot continue this way as a species. We must learn to be sustainable. We must learn to create cities that are planned, that aren’t carbon copies of one another funneling wealth elsewhere. Wed need to recognize that we cannot continue to grow exponentially without irrepably harming the planet and ultimately causing future wars.

…stop…

Imagine it. Driving into a city that feels welcoming and beautiful. Imagine feeling the personality of that city melt into you, inviting you, making you wonder what it would be like to live there. Imagine knowing that if you did that ten years later it wouldn’t be overrun by store after store after store, but a well planned layout of roads, parks, businesses, a vista pleasing to the eye and the heart.

…stop… It’s funny. In my few visits to Europe that’s exactly what I saw. Sure, there was a bit of the ugly here and there, but towns and cities were beautiful, warm, inviting, and in many cases, sustainable. I wonder what it would be like for America to one day have that attitude about how we (want to) live.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *