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Why This Lifestyle?

We think health is a valuable thing to seek and have a little stamp design that says, "a garden: an eco-commune in Belize seeking optimal health for the individual, community and planet". It is a distant guiding point, this thing we seek. We believe the general principle that what really constitutes health is simultaneously healthy for the individual, community and planet.

Some of the things I feel are unhealthy in today's world are (in no particular order): nuclear electricity, the waging of wars, capital punishment, the popularity of the personal automobile, the amount of time fathers (and now mothers too) spend with their children, the inequality of wealth distribution, the existance of armies, the existance of weapons, the use of chemical fertilizers, the use of pesticides, the irrigation of crops with water sources that do not replenish at the rate of use, clearcutting, open pit mining, people losing touch with nature, the popularity of drugs used to control children's behaviour, the idea that work, social life, and family life are seperate things, the amount of distance travelled each day by the average person, the use of televisions, telephones, computers, and radios to substite for actual human interactions,the destruction of wetlands, the wasteful use of energy and the resulting pollution, most advertising, prostitution, drug addiction, theft, starvation, areas with populations exceeding 6 people per acre of land suitable for food production, the loss of topsoil from cattle grazing or the use of chemical fertilizers, the loss of organic materials in land fills, septic tanks and sewers, the overfertilzation of the oceans, over-fishing, the weakening of labour unions, the values taught (mostly inadvertantly) in government schools, the idea that criminals should be punished rather than reformed, the use of laboratory animals, diets high in sugar, salt, fat, and protein, the contamimation of the environment from heavy metals and radio active materials, etc. I have no list in front of me as I type this so I must be omitting many things.

I see our effort to improve the world as one part of a process involving many people with many talents, in many places, with many emphasises. Our effort is part of the constructive side of the revolution. This is where we feel most fulfilled. However, we see many others engaged in other important work that is not constructive, like marching to stop the testing of nuclear weapons or writing letters to stop the execution of political prisoners. I have often given the impression that I only feel that OUR work is important or that it is the most important. I think what I really feel is that it is the most suited for me. Some will say that we are running away from the world's problems. Honestly, I think that that may be part of it, for often solutions can not be found within existing systems. We prefer to see ourselves as "running toward the solutions".

The ceasation of the worlds destructive practices is not enough in itself. This is because replacement systems of making decisions, growing food, making houses, getting water, dealing with wastes, etc would not be in place.

If the example of community we set is truely wonderful, we may be a strong seed in a peaceful revolution that sees fruit several hundred years from now.