“This year’s Earth Day celebrations will be held at the gathering place just north of Burb SE409, on the east side of the old stadium cum marketplace. As always, water and food stations will be available along the paths to the gathering place. Remember to bring your Sustainability Card as evidence of your good standing in society. You will not be served without it. Only people in good sustainable standing will be served.
“In more news, seedling inspections will be held at Burbs SW306 – SW322 on Tuesday. You are reminded, if your are found growing anything other than what was dictated by the Vault, your crop will be destroyed and your rations will be reduced. Additionally, a black mark will be added to your Sustainable Card,” says the light, lilt voice streaming live through his Earwig ear-plant. The announcer continues sharing recipes for Japanese Beetle butter and cockroach crunches. Josh stops his work in the garden to take notes. Finding palatable ways to provide protein for his family is a high priority for Josh.
For Josh, listening to Live Stream from the Earwig, a communication device surgically implanted at birth, is a way of life. News, weather, rations, and community events are all delivered via Live Stream.
For the last 600 years, Live Stream has been the only source of news and, as such, the world is finally a peace. Ever since the Free Will Revolution in 2411, the burden of making choices through free will ended. Today, we no longer have to worry about the plants we grow (ornamental, vegetable, native, introduced), the food we eat, the chemicals we use, the clothes we wear, the gods we worship. The burden of choice has been lifted from our conscious. Finally, we are told how to live.
In the 600 years since the revolution and during the 400 years before then, it has been well documented, humanity was incapable of making wise decisions. The few who were enlightened were pitted against those who believed it was their right to live like they pleased.
Today, stories are retold about how naive our forbears were in understanding ownership. It’s laughable they believed in the idea that owning property gave property owners rights to an invisible cube around the land, from the air they breathed, down to center of the earth. Having rights seemed like a big deal to our ancestors. Today, it is well understood, if we were not told what to do, our world would be in as much chaos as theirs once was.
With a few new recipes noted for dinners later this week, Josh continues amending his soil and planting seed. He notes the water in the lagoon is getting low and wonders when the next rain event is predicted.
Josh is fascinated when listening to the Live Stream’s history segment. As he moves to the rhythm of the hoe tilling the soil, Live Steam recalls the days when people were able to make choices of their own. He still shakes his head at the thought Free Will once existed.
He wonders how a society could put so much power in single individuals hands without fear of consequences. People were actually allowed to spray chemicals along their property line and if it drifted onto their neighbor’s property, no wrong was done.
If another neighbor planted invasive species on their property and it escaped to the wild because a bird ate the seed and dropped it on your property, they did no wrong; it was within their Free Will Rights.
Resources weren’t considered precious then; they were considered an entitlement. True, they did believe they needed to pay for it, and as long as they were willing to pay for it, they should be allowed to have as much of it as they could afford.
When water restrictions were enacted (but weakly enforced), many homeowners put in wells so they could continue to water at Free Will. After all, it was their Free Will as the rights of a property owner.
Today, in 3011, a millennium later, bedtime stories are told to our kids about the days when it was once believed that the land you owned went to the center of the earth. As such, they believed they owned the right to what was under their land, even the water.
To those who believed in entitlement, It mattered not if there was a shortage. They believed it was their right to be able to buy resources for their own betterment.
They lived in a time when people believed they were entitled to their fair share and often this fair share was defined as getting and using what they were willing to buy and apply. Homeowners were not regulated.
Today, we are so fortunate our ancestors squandered our resources. If not for them, we would be burdened with Free Will. We would have to make such difficult choices about our lifestyle and the repercussions to the environment and society norms.
The Live Stream announcer states, “To celebrate this year’s 600th anniversary of the Free Will Earth Day Celebration, Live Stream is allowing a one minute moment of silence.” Josh thinks ahead and decides to suggest to his family, that during this moment of silence, he and his family could gather around a feast, holding hands, and reflect on how fortunate they are not to have to make responsible decisions. Thankfully, he thinks, they have others to do that for them now.
Happy Earth Day 2011. What choices will you make today?
I hope you get a chance to check out Jan’s blog at Thanks for Today see what other garden bloggers wrote about for Earth Day 2011.