I understand it’s different for everyone. Not only that, but it’s different for any one individual in different times and at different stages in life.
What’s considered a high quality of life at age 19, differs greatly from one of 49. Or at least, we can hold out hope.
As one example, in the past I said I wouldn’t ever want livestock beyond chickens, for a couple reasons that seemed very significant to me at the time—I was scared of the responsibility of life and death for these precious creatures, and I didn’t want to feel ‘a prisoner’ here.
Now I am fully on board with the responsibility, and I can rarely whip up a desire to leave our wee compound. My notion of who is the actual prisoner has shifted significantly.
When I hear criticisms—and there are plenty—aimed at the growing number of homesteaders, survivalists, preppers, back-to-the-landers, I’m not bothered. They can slur us with their derogatory terms like Luddites, subsistence farmers, backwards, selfish, hoarder, bitter clinger, extremist, even, violent extremist.
They don’t know. How could they? I can forgive them their ignorance. For as long as I believe it to be genuine ignorance. Those who are genuinely ignorant are thankful when presented with an opportunity to learn.
“There is a cult of ignorance in the United States [that] has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that “my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.” – ~Isaac Asimov
My definition of a high quality of life changed significantly over time, and I can hold out hope for them as well.
That is, until their powerless slurs become serious impediments. My choice of a quality lifestyle does not harm them in any way. However, their definition of one severely hampers mine which, over time, makes mine quite impossible.
And that really pisses me off.
Their quenchless thirst for cheap thrills and consumable crap and loot, plunder and pillage of all that’s precious to me is intolerable. More specifically, the tolerance of the majority for abuse of themselves, their environment, the future generations, is outrageous and inexcusable.
“The fecundity and flourishing diversity of the North American continent led the earliest European explorers to speak of this terrain as a primeval and unsettled wilderness—yet this continent had been continuously inhabited by human cultures for at least ten thousand years. That indigenous peoples can have gathered, hunted, fished, and settled these lands for such a tremendous span of time without severely degrading the continent’s wild integrity readily confounds the notion that humans are innately bound to ravage their earthly surroundings. In a few centuries of European settlement, however, much of the native abundance of this continet has been lost—its broad animal population decimated, its many-voiced forests over cut and its prairies overgrazed, its rich soils depleted, its tumbling clear waters now undrinkable.” (The Spell of the Sensuous by David Abram, p. 94)
While our personal definitions concerning quality of life is unique to the individual and may shift, even quite considerably, over a lifetime, there remain constants.
For example, I doubt there’s a significant number of folks whose idea of a high quality of life includes having their health, wealth or well-being routinely stolen from them.
Yet, we are living in a society where that is exactly what happens and few will lift even a pinkie finger to change it. Few can be bothered even to wag their tongue for one-half minute at the proper authorities for leading them to exactly that wretched level of life: A life fully resigned to blindly accepting the experts and authorities who routinely betray them.
Invariably at some point these folks become so numerous and so delusional and so negatively impactful, that one simply must turn their back on them, for one’s own sanity and the well-being of an entire culture.
I hear far too often how ‘good’ people are just trying to get by and they are powerless against the system and they mean well and on and on and on. Here’s what I sincerely think when I hear these constant excuses: “You don’t know what ‘good’ means!”
If the majority of folks were good, we would not be in this mess!
To not be evil, to not be actively committing evil acts, does not make someone good. It makes one not evil, that is all. There’s a big, long, wide gap between not evil, and good.
Contrary to popular opinion, harmless does not equal good!
This becomes even more apparent in a society where a tiny class of untouchable elites consider themselves to be beyond good and evil.
To be good in such a system requires something of you. It’s not your automatic birthright.
You cannot be serving such a system— one that maintains itself by destroying the health, wealth, well-being and environment of the vast majority in order to serve your own self-interest or that of your corrupted masters—- and still call yourself good.
As the interpretation of reality by the power structure, ideology is always subordinated ultimately to the interests of the structure. Therefore, it has a natural tendency to disengage itself from reality, to create a world of appearances, to become ritual.Vaclav Havel — The Power of the Powerless
And you can’t call your friends, family, government, society ‘good’ if serving the corrupt system is still what they are doing.