Turning away from your values can happen in tiny, almost invisible ways – you consume a 5gram chocolate Easter egg that you later discover was produced by slave labour. It can happen in big and obvious ways – driving your car to a fast food outlet where minimum wages are paid and where farmers have lost their homes and land to the ‘big boys’ because they couldn’t produce for the economies of scale and when you consume you are adding to your own health woes as well as making money for a shareholder that doesn’t live within 10,000kms.
Listening to Joel Salatin this morning at the Willunga Farmers Market was a treat, a call to repent in the best of evangelical traditions. A call to turn back, to wake up and for the our mother earth to be celebrated as the one place we can all call home regardless of our species or our place in the food chain.
Repentance is under done in my life. I do sincerely regret and have remorse for many of my sins (but not quite yet ready to be sorry for all of them). I make occasional acts of turning back and set my sights on the natural default position of the Universe – it is indeed a default position of health, well being, happiness and positivity. Yet the being in the dark and staying asleep seduces me often and I fail to be wise and make choices that reflect my values. Being mindful and consistently so, is a discipline that takes a lifetime before mastery (if indeed mastery is possible). There are choices that seek to bring us closer to alignment …. or lead us away, from that lining up of all the planets, of our vision for ourselves, our communities, families and our planet.
My country has a government spiralling to the lowest denominator in what it means to be humane and trades in the currency of fear. The rhetoric from Canberra is that we all have to contribute and pitch in to help out on what is being touted as a budget emergency. We are one of the wealthiest countries in the world and one of the lowest taxed. There is no budget emergency, what we have is an empathy emergency. Salatin reminded the gathered faithful, that we don’t need a legislator or a tax or a regulation of any kind to make choices for health and well being. Supporting local producers, committing to the shortest possible pathway from farm to table is a good way to start. I came home to take the still warm eggs from our two girls nest and thanked them for their gift. Generosity is offered around every corner and we have a nest to nurture and cherish that will replenish our hearts, hearths and health.
Its time for me to repent that is true, and it is time to repent Australia. Turn back to our default position as a nation of generous, compassionate communities that as our national anthem says :
Renowned of all the lands;
For those who’ve come across the seas
We’ve boundless plains to share;
With courage let us all combine
To Advance Australia Fair.
I have always loved the words of this hymn that Stephen Schwartz vamped up brilliantly in Godspell. Time to give it another whirl, and forswear our foolish ways; time to repent and with gratitude celebrate the joys that will come as a consequence!
Turn back, O man, forswear thy foolish ways. Old now is earth, and none may count her days. Yet thou, her child, whose head is crowned with flame,Still wilt not hear thine inner God proclaim, Turn back, O man, forswear thy foolish ways.
Earth might be fair, and all men glad and wise. Age after age their tragic empires rise, Built while they dream, and in that dreaming weep: Would man but wake from out his haunted sleep, Earth might be fair and all men glad and wise.
Earth shall be fair, and all her people one: Nor till that hour shall God’s whole will be done. Now, even now, once more from earth to sky,Peals forth in joy man’s old undaunted cry—Earth shall be fair, and all her folk be one!