You might not be familiar with Rob Greenfield, but he’s a young guy who lives with no money, travels the world on his bike, does as much good as he can for all the people he meets, eats free food from grocery store dumpsters, and writes about it on the internet. I admire the guy, even though I don’t think that we can all live quite like he does. I like his perspective on many things, and this bit that he wrote on “recklessness” really caught my eye. This was in a piece about why he doesn’t have health insurance, and I can’t say that I agree with him, necessarily, on that part. BUT—this part for sure is worth reading. I’ll paste a big chunk of it here; I don’t think he’d mind one bit. (Link to his whole article here).
Some would say I’m being reckless by not having health insurance, but I urge those who think this to assess the blatant recklessness of our society and question whether you are being reckless as well. To me being reckless is eating fast food, even on a weekly basis. To me being reckless is smoking cigarettes. To me being reckless is eating too much meat and too little veggies and fruits. To me being reckless is choosing to spend my days dormant and getting no exercise. To me being reckless is slaving away at a job that results in vast amounts of stress and relationship strains. To me the American culture is beyond reckless in so many of our simple daily actions. Recklessness is purely a matter of perspective.
We are reckless with our lands that we poison with herbicides and pesticides and strip of all the nutrients through industrial farming. We are recklessly producing low quality food that ultimately produces low quality bodies. We are reckless with the water that we poison and in turn poison ourselves. We are reckless with the air that we spew pollution into and then breath in through our mouths and noses. We are reckless with the entire earth that we are truly dependent on. We are not independent of the earth, of the land, the air, and the water. It provides us life and we are destroying it faster than most of us can fathom. Recklessness to me is a society that thinks human beings are above all other species on earth and that death is not a part of all of our lives.
Recklessness to me is an obsession with men pounding each other’s faces in the ring and battering each other on the football field for the sake of entertainment. Recklessness to me is eating vast quantities of pharmaceuticals and pissing them out in our water supply, which causes birth defects in our children. Recklessness to me is that 80% of our antibiotics are given to animals antibiotics that we use for ourselves. Recklessness to me is the over prescription of billions of pills per year. Recklessness to me is the giant list of side effects on most prescriptions that we raise for meat and that have wiped out the effectiveness of large sums of medications. Recklessness to me is simply listening to what someone tells you and being uninformed about how our decisions affect others around us and the future of our race.
This is reckless. This is a system that I am removing myself from.
Some interesting thoughts there, and probably some wisdom, too. Here’s a bit more of Rob, in this clip he’s discussing food waste in America—
So, once again, some things to think about—perspective can be a valuable thing. As for Rob, he’s welcome at my house any time; it would be a pleasure to meet him.
Top image credit: Samuel John Roberts, (untitled), Flickr Creative Commons.