“Just Be” vs. “Be All You Can Be”

Via AlterNet, here’s an essay titled “Our Produce-or-Die Culture Is Killing Us — And We’re Idiotically Grinning and Bearing It” by Joe Bageant. His thoughts are summed up toward the end, where he says “the truth is that we are all very commonly issued products of a profit driven workhouse where no human commons is allowable, lest the workers find meaning and joy in each other as human beings, and perhaps become less work driven, less productive and less profitable.” His point is that we should quit striving to get ahead in the material world and just be. He has a valid point.

And yet, for some of us (maybe many of us), that desire to do something more than “just be” remains. As good Pagans, we’ve come to understand that there is much to enjoy in the natural, material world, even though we know we’ll never find ultimate fulfillment in it. For some of us, there is a strong desire to do something uniquely and importantly helpful.

Do we find that by peering behind the veil and bringing back knowledge of the Otherworld? Do we find it by building a better world here and now? We can find it by doing ordinary things extraordinarily well, but what of those of us with a thirst for doing extraordinary things? And how do we concentrate on those extraordinary things while living in the same “produce or die culture” that Bagent rants against???

So many questions, so few answers.

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About John Beckett

I grew up in Tennessee with the woods right outside my back door. Wandering through them gave me a sense of connection to Nature and to a certain Forest God. I’m a Druid graduate of the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids, the Coordinating Officer of the Denton Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans and a former Vice President of CUUPS Continental. I’ve been writing, speaking, teaching, and leading public rituals for the past eleven years. I live in the Dallas – Fort Worth area and I earn my keep as an engineer.


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