Lately I've been thinking about separation. It began a while ago when I was watering our garden out back. I was using water from the rain water catchment and because we live in the desert and rain water doesn't come daily, or even monthly for that matter, I was much more careful. I paid close attention to where the hose was, how much water each plant got and that I sprinted back to the catchment when the watering was complete. And then I thought, why am I only acting this way with the rain water? If I were using water from a faucet, why would I be more likely to waste? It's not as if there is a limitless supply of water in the world. And then I realized that i's because perhaps when I turn on a faucet I don't SEE where the water is coming from, or SEE i being depleted.
So, when I can't see the results of my actions or the source of my resources, it makes the usage less personal, and less important. Which is extremely unfortunate because the majority of our resources- food, water, oil- seem to come from nowhere- or at least somewhere unknown. And if I can squeeze a handle and fill p my gas tank and every time it works- here must be this land full of oil where happy people squeeze it into tubes that go straight into the pump to my car, right? Or, because I walk into a beautifully organized produce section at a grocery store, there must be carrots, peas, and apples grown next door and somehow magically reproduced by the thousands every week...? But obviously, even the most disconnected person would know this is not possible. But the problem is that we don't have to consider these things. Right now, most everything is at our finger-tips. We have such a strange "pleasure" to be separated from the sources of our needs and wants. But, just as I experienced with the water, when that separation occurs, we don't think, and we waste.
In the same way that we don't have to consider where things come from, we also don't see where things go when we are finished with our consumption. We have trash cans and drains, and garbage men and pipes that carry away our vast amounts of waste. But perhaps, if we had to be the source of our own staples, and decided what to do with our waste, we'd waste less and consume less. I think we'd find ourselves more connected- to each other because we'd inevitable have to work together, and to the earth- the firs source of all our being.