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America Loses Touch With Its Roots: A Moment With Bill Reflection

Updated on July 23, 2013

THE LOSS OF VIRGINITY

The corruption of the American soul is consumerism.

Ben Nicholson

The earliest of settlers understood this truth although in fact the concept of consumerism had not be invented yet. Only time and the hard, undeniable weight of history have proven it to be so.

In those years, settlements were established. Farmers staked out their claim, shops were opened, small businesses were begun, and there was an inter-connected feeling to it all. The tillers of the soil raised crops for their family, and excess was sold to the townsfolk. Store owners only carried staples that could not be produced on the farms, and often times those staples were bartered for so that there was an equal sharing of needs between farmer and merchant.

The land was an integral part of the whole equation, the giver of life and the sustainer of an economy. There was a marriage of sorts between man and land, and in the early years the marriage was good and beneficial to all.

The Industrial Revolution changed it all of course. More and more land was needed for raw materials to feed the machines and also to feed the insatiable appetite for produced goods. What man did not have could be made by machines, and that symbiotic partnership of man and land began to unravel. The importance of land was measured by how large a building it would hold or how many metric tons of ore could be taken from it.

Meanwhile, on the farm, the sacred trust was broken, and the natural balance of life began to tilt in a dangerous direction.

Once there was a time when....
Once there was a time when....

FAST FORWARDING THROUGH HISTORY

More and more people meant more and more demand, and the small family farms grew in size, hired workers, produced more, tossed aside the natural and healthy ways of farming and embraced the concept of more is better. More land was plowed, more land planted and more demand raised, for population was growing at an astonishing rate, and foreign nations were hungry, so bigger machines were needed and workers laid off as one machine did the work of eighty human beings, and a dizzying amount of herbicides were used and then genetic mutations created, all in the name of production my friends, production.

Today it’s all about agribusiness, not farming, and most farms are owned by huge conglomerates whose corporate members wouldn’t know a plow if they tripped over one but who do, in fact, control the prices of everything you eat, from soybeans to tomatoes to prime beef.

Farmers who do not recognize a plow…is it possible?

And here we are today in the year of our Lord, 2013, and that symbiotic relationship between consumer and producer is gone. Over 300 million people in the United States and 99.5% of them produce nothing, but consume they do, and their appetite for consumption has no limits.

So what’s the problem you ask?

Do you really not see the problem?

THE ANSWER MY FRIENDS

In 1975 William Rood, a reporter for the Los Angeles Times, reported that some of the largest conservation organizations owned stock in corporations notorious for their destructiveness and indifference towards the environment. The Sierra Club, long a bastion for the good environmental fight, owned huge blocks of stocks in Exxon, General Motors, Tenneco, steel companies and strip-mining companies.

As you might expect, this revelation proved quite embarrassing for the Sierra Club, and they quickly announced that their investment policies would be reviewed and changed to be more in keeping with their environmental beliefs.

All well and good….or is it? Citizens of this fine country were shocked when the news first broke but really, should they have been shocked? Wasn’t the Sierra Club just doing what most Americans do, namely say one thing but do the opposite?

Let’s be honest: we are a nation of users, or consumers if you will. We decry the loss of natural habitat as strip-mining continues and yet each household needs more natural resources to maintain our lifestyles. We drive to a protest meeting in our SUVs and we dam more rivers to produce more lights for our cities. We use, we use and we use some more, all the while wondering what happened to the lifestyle of long ago when times were simpler and a man did not have to work fifty hours to make forty hours of wages to fall deeper in debt.

It is insanity and we are the fuel of a moral fire that rages out of control.

Our land is poisoned….our water is poisoned….our air is poisoned….our food is poisoned…..and we demand more and keep right on doing that which has caused it all.

Insanity!

Interesting video on overpopulation

THE ROOTS ARE GONE

There is pride in producing something of value. There is pride in working intimately with the Earth and finding sustenance from the rich, dark soil, of working in partnership with this life-giving land.

That pride is disappearing in America.

There is no ownership in our work and no consequences for our actions, and pride is a five-letter word that refers to a time and place of long ago.

We use and we use, and we take and we take, and this is only just the beginning. In 1975 there were 3.1 billion people on this planet; today there are 7 billion and just for a moment, consider how many will be here when your children are adults and they all, every damn one of them, want more and more and more.

But that’s not our problem, right? What happens twenty years from now is someone else’s problem, right? It’s live for today, baby, and grab up whatever you can carry, and I’ve got mine and to hell with you, and…..

Do you know what the definition of consumerism is? Consumerism is:

a social and economic order that encourages the purchase of goods and services in ever-greater amounts.”

Sound familiar?

The central point is not that we seem to have an unending need for more goods; the point is that we have no ownership in the act of consuming. We are just eating machines, or using machines, or consuming machines, whichever way you choose to describe it. We work our jobs, make our money, spend our money and, like rats in a maze, sense that there is a way out but are totally clueless where we can find the exit sign.

When the majority of people in a country are consumers they are, by the very nature of economics, at the mercy of the producers. Do we not see the truth of that statement in today's society?

There must be something more to life…right? Right?

Community Gardening

LET ME TELL YOU A STORY

My parents were hard-working people, survivors of the Great Depression. Their parents were Iowa corn farmers, hard-working people in their own right who lost their farms during the 1930’s and in the process lost a part of themselves. From the farm they went to factories, and as the economy slowly improved they became consumers and joined the rest of Americans in the never-ending quest for more….but….I never saw them smile the way I saw them smile in old pictures when Grandpa was plowing the land and harvesting the crops.

I was raised by a mother and father who wanted me to have a better life than they did. They were convinced that I needed to attend college and learn the ways of the economy, and armed with that knowledge I could go out into the world and be happier functioning as an integral part of the economic machine.

And I tried. Lord knows I tried, but my parents, God bless their souls, had it all wrong. Happiness does not come from consumption; happiness is derived from production and the warm fuzzies that are a natural by-product of making something of value.

Today I am a writer. I don’t have a pot to piss in or a window to throw it out, but I am happy because I am producing the written word and there is great value in my production. I am creating beauty and I am creating something that will last a lifetime. I am dipping my hands into the soil, and I am caring for the deep, dark brown dirt, and the crops I grow will feed generations long after I am gone.

I go to bed at night and I understand all too well what my grandparents must have understood before times turned bad for them and their farms became faded memories. I understand today that man can find no pride in endless consuming. It is only in the production of something of intrinsic value that a soul can truly be fed.

Maybe there is hope
Maybe there is hope

THERE IS HOPE

I see signs today of a small revolution. I see community gardens being created, and I see more people moving away from blatant consumerism and understanding that they are just a part of a bigger picture. I see people who understand their part in this ridiculous and debased overuse of our planet, and I see them trying to change. Small groups of course, but it is at least a start, and a start is enough for me to believe that just possibly there is hope for our children and our grandchildren.

Look not to your governments for a change in the economic landscape. Look not to the corporations for needed change. No, we need to look at ourselves and change our part in it all.

The search for a “better life” begins inside us all. It is a bitter pill to swallow, the knowledge that we have had a part in this ugliness, but it is a pill that must be swallowed if we are to ever return to our roots and once again enjoy that symbiotic balance between consumption and production.

2013 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

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    • hawaiianodysseus profile image

      Hawaiian Odysseus 3 years ago from Southeast Washington state

      Ah, what sweet inspiration for this latter day in July! You're the kind of umpire I really appreciated in a tight baseball game--you consistently call 'em like you see 'em, my friend!

      Your point is right on, Bill! And the solution is what you've advocated all these months--getting back to a simpler lifestyle.

      Even with writing, whenever I have the luxury to read what our pioneer forefathers (and mothers) wrote, these people were such gifted writers. Then again, that was the NORM back then. Look how consumerism has diluted our arts and culture!

      Amazing (dis)Grace!

      So, yes, by all means, write on, my frugal friend! Who needs those pots and windows anyway? We'll piss like brothers 'neath the cover of maples and willows...and then go have some strong cowboy coffee as we "talk story" about the good old days!

      Aloha, buddy!

      Joe

      Voted up and then some, and shared in Hubsville!

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 3 years ago from New York

      There is a movement back to the land and back to consideration of others and our planet. Small but still moving it brings us community gardens, farmer's markets, food co-ops and more. Will it catch on again? Well, it seems there is also a movement back to home gardens. I remember having a garden growing all kinds of vegetables. The aggravation and work moved me away from it but now I find myself moving back. Am I the only one? I don't think so.

      If we can get back to the land my friend, maybe the rest will follow. At least we can hope.

      As always Bill you give us food for thought and this hub, written like all your hubs from the heart, will go a long way to remind us. Without a window we can always open the door!

      Voted up, useful, interesting and shared.

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 3 years ago from New York, New York

      Bill I am so happy that you have started this newest venture and will be here along the way. Thank you as always just for being you! Hope you are having a great day my friend now and am sharing all over, too!

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      "industrialized developed nation". It does seem we have it backwards. Thanks for the hearty wake up call.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Joe, what a writer you are. I so look forward to your comments and you did not disappoint this morning.

      I hope the maples and willows are ready for the steady stream. LOL

      Step up to the plate buddy; I'll give you that extra inch on the outside corner.

      Aloha,

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, there is without a doubt a subtle movement back to gardens, community and individual, and the uproar over genetically modified food is encouraging.....if we can just keep moving in the right direction then there is always hope.

      Thank you as always my friend and have a great day.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Janine....it's always nice to have you along for the ride and of course I appreciate you greatly.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Eric, without a doubt we have it backwards.....so we turn around, right? :) Thanks buddy!

    • Cantuhearmescream profile image

      Cat 3 years ago from New York

      Billy,

      I am not from a family of farmers and yet this really touches the heart for me. I feel so bad for local farmers; farming is their livelihood, their means of survival but they are being put out of business by these corporate farmers, these suit-wearers, many of whom never step foot on a farm and yet reap financial benefits that the hardworking farmer will never see. I know there is a lot of talk and some programs about supporting our local farms and I'd like to see some kind of turnaround, yet, I fear the time and place we are living in, the bigger dog always wins.

      sigh...

      Great hub, nonetheless and let us hope!

      Have a wonderful day!

      Cat

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Cat, the bigger dog usually does win.....and I have my doubts whether we can turn things around....but I do see signs of hope...small signs for sure but still, signs.

      Thank you my friend. I am always grateful when you stop by and share your thoughts and time with me.

      bill

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 3 years ago from Central Florida

      Bill the overpopulation video as it relates to consumerism is very interesting. The stats regarding North America's overindulgence as compared to other countries is mind-boggling. Supporting our local farmers - the real farmers - is a good start. I try to do so whenever I can.

      Great hub, my friend!

    • Farmer Rachel profile image

      Rachel Koski 3 years ago from Minnesota

      Distressing information, but something everyone should be thinking about. The difference between living and surviving in this world in difficult to spot, but once seen it can't be unseen. So I find myself in Minnesota, finally, shopping for a piece of land with a modest house where I can put all my skills and good work ethic to use for the greater good. Nice to read your hubs again, Bill :) Sorry for my long absence from hubpages, but I had to extricate myself first from a difficult financial situation and then, from the sudden death of my father. I've sold my dad's house, settled his estate, and continued with my plan to relocate to Minnesota to buy a small farm. Here we go! You'll be seeing more of me now :) So glad you're still fighting the good fight!!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, agribusiness is a monster and I'm not sure we will win this battle....but the alternative is too ugly to think about.

      Hope you are well my dear friend.

      love,

      bill

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 3 years ago

      Arrrrrg! I choke on the truths that you write! Who cares? Who cares. Who cares! Well, I do, damn it, and I get madder by the minute! I come from Tyson country, although I think I should be ashamed to admit it. When I was in my 20s, young local men flocked to the poultry plants to process the chickens raised by small farmers. They went to the farms to work and even did the menial jobs like catching the chickens. It was hard dirty work, but they did it. Today Mexican laborers do the work because our young men won’t lower themselves to catch chickens or work in the poultry plants. The ones who can’t find better work make and sell meth. Our prison system is bulging and the officials keep begging for more money to expand.

      Northern Arkansas has some of the most beautiful pristine rivers, lakes and streams in the nation, but that may change. Large corporate hog farms are polluting our small streams and moving close to our cities. A corporation is putting in a huge hog-farming operation that will pollute the Buffalo River and miles around it. Mexicans probably will be brought in to work this dirty foul-smelling operation, too, because our young are too good to work it. We may have to change our favorite football team from the “Razorbacks” to the “Fat Hogs” team. In the meantime we complain about no jobs and about immigration.

      I’m sure that all the chickens and hogs produced by the big corporations in my state will make the consumers happy. It certainly isn’t making a better life for the small farmers who used to produce these animals. The honest farmers are looking elsewhere for a living or going to work for the corporations.

      We have small community gardens being planted in our city, but unlike major cities, we are banned from raising chickens and small animals that would keep us close to the land. It’s a pity. Awesome hub. Voted up!

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      Hooray to the start of the revolution! Greed has all but destroyed America and it is spreading even to these little islands. Now we have to begin again in supporting the little guy. Thanks for addressing this issue.

    • Cantuhearmescream profile image

      Cat 3 years ago from New York

      Well a sign is a sign, regardless how big or small. As long as someone cares and there's some hope, there's some chance! So thank you for caring and hoping :D

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 3 years ago from Northern California, USA

      Hi Bill, there is definitely hope. I adore the concept of community gardens. It wasn't until I started building a sustainable garden for myself that I began to understand the full meaning of consumption. That cycle of collecting the seeds to replant and collecting the unused portion of the plant to compost made me see how much waste there is in the world. Before I became a food farmer I was a consumer to the max. Now, being a producer is such a good feeling. Sharing extra produce is even more rewarding. In a way, it helps keep others from overconsumption. I mean, when I share my extra produce (let's say corn) with the community, it means another farmer can grow something else that is needed; it also means my neighbors don't have to go to the store (wasting gas) to purchase that corn. This is such an enlightening hub.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rachel, good to have you back. I thought of you when I was writing this...I'm reading an amazing book called "The Unsettling of America" and that's where the inspiration for this hub came from.

      I'm very sorry to hear about the death of your dad. Sending a big hug your way, and hoping you find that property soon my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dora, the little guy has all but disappeared, and we have nobody to blame but ourselves....but we can change things if we are willing to do so. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this.

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 3 years ago from Arizona

      I hear what you are saying...and we often talk about the kids today..(not all of them) ..with their texting etc..Mostly I find them with a sense of entitlement. However, they are being brought up that way. As for our country.. I still don't understand why money is being shipped out when we need it here. I also feel that people have a sense of desperation...Oh well could go on and on..You got it right on.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Cat, I'll never stop caring and hoping and I know you won't either. :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Marlene, you understand the process perfectly. Now if we can only get about 100 million others to understand it we might be able to right this ship. Thank you my friend and it's good to have you back with us. I hope happier days are on the horizon for you.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      MizB, thank you for sharing that experience. I'm afraid what you say is quite common in many states across this nation. Bigger is better and cheaper, and we are all about cheap in this country....machines replace man to make a better economy, but a better economy for who? The agribusiness corporations, that who, and they are the ones benefiting. This is an endless cycle and it can only change if American buying habits change. I don't know the answers but I do know ignoring the problems isn't working. :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Carol, I could go on and on too, but then I'd have a migraine and get nothing done today. This begins with us....we are desperate as a nation because we have backed ourselves into a corner and can't find the exit sign....and yes, we need to stop now and get something positive accomplished. :) Thank you as always.

    • CarlySullens profile image

      CarlySullens 3 years ago from St. Louis, Missouri

      I love this quote:

      "I am creating beauty and I am creating something that will last a lifetime. I am dipping my hands into the soil, and I am caring for the deep, dark brown dirt, and the crops I grow will feed generations long after I am gone."

      Wow! This makes it all seem more real and impactful. Something all writers should consider- how our word impacts readers now... and in the future.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Carly! Every once in awhile I write something that I'm actually proud of. That line was one such moments. :)

    • Radcliff profile image

      Liz Davis 3 years ago from Hudson, FL

      I think that people live in fear of nature--that's why it's going to be difficult to change this consumerist trend. People live in fear of disease, so they follow baseless low-fat diet nonsense that keeps them dependent on food manufacturers. Fear of poor periodontal health sends people to the dentist every six months for blasts of radiation to the head and procedures invented in the 19th century. Fear of death or dismemberment in car accidents sends people to dealerships for the biggest, most advanced SUVs available. The list goes on and on; clever marketing messages replace natural logic with consumerist lies. It's a shame.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Wow, Lizzy, you have given this some thought obviously. I have believed for some time now that we are a fear-based society.....then there is me, who hasn't been to a doctor or dentist in ten years.....speaking as a former marketing student and business owner, it is so easy to manipulate people into action using clever ads and just the right words.....sigh...now I'm depressed. :)

    • cleaner3 profile image

      cleaner3 3 years ago from Pueblo, Colorado

      great write bill.. you are a source of sanity in an insane world

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Michael.....high praise and I appreciate it.

    • livingsta profile image

      livingsta 3 years ago from United Kingdom

      I am in awe reading this Bill. This has made me happy, we need more of these. This applies to every single country on this planet. If only everyone contributed just a little, this world will and the planet will become better. Hoping all these awareness will help people think and realise the huge impacts.

      Hope you are well my friend and hope you had a good day :-)

      Sending you Smiles and blessings!!!

    • epbooks profile image

      Elizabeth Parker 3 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      I love this hub and the style in which you wrote it but I especially love the part about your writing. Very inspirational and down to earth, so to speak. Thanks again for a fantastic hub. Have a great day!

    • profile image

      sheilamyers 3 years ago

      Great hub! I try to stay away from all the consumption. I buy what I need and only when I need it - at least most of the time. I guess it's easy if you're like me and HATE shopping.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dahlia, thank you very much....and yes, it applies to most countries on Earth....maybe we will learn one day. :) Keep sending those smiles and blessings. I cherish them.

      blessings and hugs heading to you

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Down to Earth....love it, Liz! :) Thank you so much and I hope your day is going well too.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sheila, I refuse to go shopping. Put me in a Costco and you would see a crazy man. :) I understand completely.

    • Abby Campbell profile image

      Abby Campbell 3 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      Ah, your hubs so speak truth, Bill. Unfortunately, consumerism has taken the better part of the American people. In my personal life, I have been scaling back a ton... getting rid of things... planting my own gardens... making my life simpler... more peaceful. Since I've been doing this, I hear of others doing the same. I've even read that there is a "minimalist" movement in America who are doing just that. In that, I find hope as well.

      As far as the small farmers, we do need to support them. That is what I promote a lot in my business. It's not just supporting them, but there is a bit of selfishness that comes from it too as we want to live healthier lives. Big farmers are contaminating our foods with genetically modified organisms, pesticides, etc. I've even watched documentaries that they are doing this to kill off our population as it has grown way too large. I never realized how large until I read your hub here. It all makes sense now. Wow!

      I hope a ton read your hub as we need to increase the awareness of what is real and true. We must get off our bootays and take responsibility... as you have so gently stated. :-)

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 3 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      Bill, my husband went to a meeting a while back, it was about helping to save the planet, 'planet matters'. However; as the meeting ended, he walked over to the car park. He could not believe the hypocrisy!!.. The big talkers laying down the law, actually drove to the meeting in their 4x4s and Mercedes. We have a long way to go before the walk match the talk. Another great write my friend.

    • suziecat7 profile image

      suziecat7 3 years ago from Asheville, NC

      Very truthful and important Hub.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Abby, I have never been a conspiracy believer but I'm getting closer and closer to the day when I'll start believing that there are groups of powerful people who are manipulating the entire social and economic system.....and the majority either doesn't care or is clueless. I continue to hope that small movements of sanity will grow in size and make a difference.

      Thank you my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jo, I live in one of the most Liberal cities in America. Always talk about saving this and saving that....and you guessed it, you can't drive a block without seeing the big SUV's parked everywhere. Do they not get it? Do they not see the consequences of that hypocrisy?

      Sigh!

      blessings to you my friend

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Suzie....it is important and I hope more people wake up to this fact.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 3 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I see more and more people are starting to grow gardens in vacant lots in cities across America. It is a start. The prices are skyrocketing in the grocery stores, a package of bacon was $ 8.88 for thick sliced, an increase of 3 dollars from the last time i purchased. I really do not see how a family with three or four children can afford to feed them. Thank's for an inspiring hub.....

    • ziyena profile image

      ziyena 3 years ago from Southern Colorado

      "It is insanity and we are the fuel of a moral fire that rages out of control."

      We have become a lazy nation with a serfdom consciousness.

      One day those serfs will rise and seek a revolution, and the High Kings that rule the Earth will have to plow their own God darned shite ... thanks for telling like it is Bil

      UP

    • ImKarn23 profile image

      Karen Silverman 3 years ago

      STANDING O on this gem, Bill! I also have no pot to piss in nor a window to throw it out, but i too am HAPPY with my principles, morals, and ethics.

      I try to give much better than i get, and i expect nothing in return. People are DYING from eating food that is produced without the use of a plow. Animals are suffering beyond belief at the hands of HUMANS(?), and as their spirits turn bitter and poisoned - so does their flesh!

      We are killing ourselves in every possible machination, and instead of doing what's necessary - BUT DIFFICULT - we'd rather just DIE NOT TRYING!

      i give you credit for taking on the ripple effects of a country gone mad. Sometimes it's just so overwhelming, i don't know where to even begin.

      So then...i go write something scathing - that rhymes!

      with respect, my friend!

      sharing on

    • Elias Zanetti profile image

      Elias Zanetti 3 years ago from Athens, Greece

      A great hub, Bill that is true not only for America but also for most part of the world. people should be aware of the situation and to reflect on the way that living in a modern society makes you nothing more than a consuming unit. Voted and shared!

    • Wayne Brown profile image

      Wayne Brown 3 years ago from Texas

      I think one of the most evident signs of the relationship between consumerism and happiness is to look at the wealthier folks that you know. Few, if any, are truly happy and their lives are anything but carefree...in fact, they are so complicated that there is little room for happiness anymore. When we think back over our lives, we find that some of the happiest moments came from some of the most simple things...that moment when you closed your eyes and swung blindly at the baseball and surprisingly heard the crack of the ball hitting the bat. That exhilaration of the moment in which you realized that "you did!" cannot be surpassed by anything that you can purchase nor will the purchased item create such a lasting memory. People drew much satisfaction from the simple farming life because they were taking on Mother Nature head-on and when things worked, there was a total sense of victory. People had less choices in those times; money was scarce but they shared their bonds of poverty in lifelong friendships deeply rooted in their shared toils of the land. Now, some people do not know where corn comes from nor where it goes but they are pretty sure the only way you can get it is in a can...like motor oil. America's underbelly is a soft one today and I am not convinced that we could face the challenges of the past 100 years and gain the same outcome...we do not have either the stomach or the patience for it. Great article, Bill! ~WB

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 3 years ago from Wales

      Look not to your governments for a change in the economic landscape. Look not to the corporations for needed change. No, we need to look at ourselves and change our part in it all.

      The search for a “better life” begins inside us all. It is a bitter pill to swallow, the knowledge that we have had a part in this ugliness, but it is a pill that must be swallowed if we are to ever return to our roots and once again enjoy that symbiotic balance between consumption and production.

      Great words Billy and even though you live in a different country to myself there is little difference in our lands.

      Our Government says one think and means another ; they all swan around from country to country supposedly on political business without having to wonder if their money will stretch to a holiday.

      Not too long ago a local Housing Association moved to brand new and bigger premises and the amount of money spent on plants to decorate these premises was atrocious while some of our elderly in winter have a choice ; a warm meal or heating on !!!

      I could carry on and on but as this is a comment I'll end here ; maybe you have planted a seed for another hub from me Billy. Thank you so much for sharing another brilliant write from the heart which absolutely sings of sincerity.

      Have a great day my friend.

      Eddy.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ruby, I see the same signs of hope in communities. I just hope it isn't too little too late. Thank you as always my friend and have a wonderful day.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL...Ziyena, great line at the end....it is encouraging to know so many writers understand and agree. Thank you.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Leslie, I love your heart and you.....yes indeed, go write something scathing that rhymes....that's what we writers do when the walls are closing in and we can't breathe the air....we write.

      Thank you so much oh faithful one!

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Elias, it is a complicated problem that has no easy solution....but one solution that is not acceptable is to keep doing the same thing over and over again. We have proved that it does not work. :) Thank you!

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Wayne, thanks for the great, great comment....you are a writer, Sir! corn and motor oil from a can....what a great simile of modern society. I am convinced we could not handle the challenges of one hundred years ago, and that our underbelly is the softest it has been in history.

      Loved this comment; thank you!

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Eddy, thank you for sharing some of the atrocities from your country. Misery loves company??? In this case, I really wish Wales were not like the United States. I would like to think that somewhere in the world greed does not run unabated....but sadly that is not true.

      I hope you do write that hub, Eddy. You do it so eloquently and people listen to you.

      love,

      bill

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      Eiddwen 3 years ago from Wales

      Thank you so much Billy ;as always you inspire me to write and today I feel an urgency to write about issues such as this and not only to write poetry.

      Inspirational poetry will always be my passion so I will always publish these but there are other issues which I need to voice also!! An outcome of a new era I think.

      Thanks again Billy for being my inspiration.

      Eddy.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Eddy, I go in streaks with regards to speaking out about issues....I have a need to do so, but if I do it too often I become depressed and feel helpless....so I shoot for a balance as I'm sure you do as well.

      Thank you as always my friend. Best wishes and a hug coming your way.

      love,

      billy

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      billd01603 3 years ago from Worcester

      Wow billybuc, this is the best hub I've read in a while! You make several good points but the saved the best for last. The tale about how you never saw your grandparents smile the way they did in pictures when they owned the farm and were producing was great.

      I have just recently realized the point that you make abouthow one is only happy when creating something. I think that most people on Hubpages enjoy creating. (After all it isn't the few pennies we make every day. If you are in it for the money HubPages is not the place to be.)

      I go to work every morning and work 8 hours as a financial auditor. It pays the bills and I enjoy the place I work and the people. But I'm never happier Than when I am home creating.

      Thanks again or a great Hub. Voted up and awesome.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      billd, creating is in our DNA, but it's been so watered down over the generations that many have forgotten it, or lost touch with it. Why do people enjoy gardening so much? It is some subliminal return to our roots...forgive the pun....I loved your comment; thanks for sharing.

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      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      If your parents saw you today, they would smile and be proud of the man that they raised. Your son is proud, and his children will be proud. You are developing you legacy, as we all are. We may not change the world in our lifetimes, but our children and their children will turn things around. It all begins with us, and EDUCATION is the key to a better world.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Deb, amen to that....only through education can we hope to turn things around in this country....that and a little common sense in parenting. :)

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      Victor W. Kwok 3 years ago from Hawaii

      I agree withbyou on how America became corrupt. One only need look at history and the reasons behind some of America's conquests for proof.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      vkwok, indeed my friend. We have a rich history of trying to be rich. :)

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 3 years ago from Nepal

      As long as we can find our roots, we will have something to hang on with. Rootlessness is a pain. After reading this article I remembered two books, Roots by Alex Haley and another Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand.

      Haley tries to find the roots of American society in Roots, and Rand vouches for individualism in Atlas Shrugged.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Indeed, Vinaya, your reference to those two books is right on, and great reads both of them. Thanks for that mention.

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      Lee Raynor 3 years ago from Citra Florida

      I think consumerism contains the seeds and even the fertilizer for its own failure. The goal of nearly all business and all countries is growth. Eventually this has to fail on a massive scale. The Earth and her resources are finite and we will face the ultimate "Zero Sum Game". I jumped off the consumer bandwagon when I retired to a small income. So, I started growing my own food and baking my own bread. This is far more satisfying than any trinket I ever bought. I also get to avoid all the GMO foods, pesticides and toxic chemicals, save money, help the environment and even get some exercise.

      Good Hub, good writing and a new follower.

      Check my stuff out at http://hubpages.com/@chefsref

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Chef, I can't say it any better than you just did. This is a no-win situation....well, you said it all so no reason for me to repeat. Thank you and I will definitely stop by your site.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 3 years ago

      Sadly it's a throw away world too, which makes things far less valuable in people's minds. Also, with all of this new technology, kids are taught to appreciate things like they used so they don't understand the value of them. Good reminder to step back and think about what we are doing to the earth.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you once again, Glimmer. I hope as a society we learn from our mistakes and turn this all around before it is too late to do so.

    • Glenn Stok profile image

      Glenn Stok 3 years ago from Long Island, NY

      A new course should be added to the curriculum for young school children to teach them how to appreciate the limitations of what nature can provide. People should be taught how to control and limit their usage of non-recyclable items.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Glenn, I agree completely with you.....and the homework would be obvious. :) Thank you!

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