Friday, December 08, 2006

A Call to Retreat

The American Heritage Dictionary defines “retreat” as:

(1) The act or process of withdrawing, especially from something hazardous, formidable, or unpleasant.
(2) The process of going backward or receding from a position or condition gained.
(3) A period of seclusion, retirement, or solitude

The race to “win”, to achieve the American Dream, to keep up with the Jones’ are all unrealizable. The persistence with which people in our society hold on to these false ideals is without reason. Juliet Schor writes that the greater the weight people place on the social comparison aspect of their consumption, the greater the social irrationality…the system begins to take on a perverse character.

Today, the call to retreat from over-consumption is a relatively weak voice. Pressures are building, however. And, people are choosing to retreat one at a time. The result is certain to be better for our environment, better for our communities, and better for us individually.

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