Early Stock Take: Shocking America


My time in San Diego has come to an end, in five hours I’ll be saying good bye to my sister Ros, and Jen and Jason, and Bob (my brother-in-law) and I head to Albuquerque.  I have just come back from a sunrise, ‘last run’ with my sister, in the state park  near where she lives.  Real good Sister / Brother bonding that stuff that’s hard to describe, and I felt how I our bond had received some more rich flourishing food.

Over dinner last night we spoke about the intensity of the 9 days we have spent together: how great it has been to be with family who are so different yet just accept each other for who they are. Knowing my intensity and zest for life, combined with a radically different One Point Zero way of life our time together could have been difficult. I thanked them for not only ‘putting up’ with me but allowing Me to be Me, and for Them being Themselves. Our relationship had flourished and yet we had covered some very challenging ground, and we raised glasses filled with local Californian red, and toasted that success we had achieved. Jason and Jen independently arrived later and I was touched when both asked what time I was leaving in the morning as they wanted to be up to say good bye!

My sister and her family live a lifestyle that fits with their ‘wealthy 1%’ Californian status. and live in an icon neighbourhood that appears to me to closer to the 0.5% wealthy in their huge houses and obvious following of the conspicuous consumption ideology: One that I gave up many years ago and now see as a fundamental cause of our One Point Zero problem.

From the time I bicycled up the long driveway up to my sister’s home, I have been in a serious ‘way of life’ conflict. When I set out from New Zealand I knew this was going to be the case, and even discussed the possible ramifications with my sister. I told her that dealing with this conflict is part of what My One Point Zero Challenge is about and also what ‘Trumped by Nature’ was about.

So in many ways I had the support of both Ros and Bob to explore the values conflicts as a family, but I was fully aware that they would probably not know how challenging this would be. I knew that in managing the conflict I would be testing my ‘Walking the Talk’ of a One Point Zero value system and how it could challenge the relationship bonds.

In this context these past nine days have been very intense and have made me see that Our One point Zero Challenge is even more challenging than I thought.

Here in San Diego, I was with family who are real good ‘people’ at heart, and really want to be good citizens of America, good humans within mankind, and good followers of the Christian faith. Yet by the time I left, I sense One Point Zero will still not become anymore a guiding beacon in their lives than before I arrived.

Because of the frank and extensive exploring, both personally and within their community we did, I can see it wasn’t just about Ros and Bob.

If it was just ‘them’ that was ‘the problem’ I wouldn’t be sharing this seemingly intimate family content with you. In the many interactions with members of their community I came across the very same ‘disinterest’ in our One Point Six and growing problem!

In these nine days I was privileged to be given a window into an affluent Californian culture and values system that flies directly in the face of One Point Zero, and has little or no care for that fact.

Knowing the intense discussions we had, and their love and care for me, yet the reluctance to change has been a huge wake up call for me.  I knew the whole One Point Zero picture would be confronting and not easy, but I had expected that in us being able to thrash out ‘The Facts’, and eventually connect ‘the human obligation’ within us to doing something about it.   But disinterest to change once one knows ‘The Facts‘ and one’s personal contribution to making them worse, was a huge wake up call for me.

Beyond my family time, I have to say from the bottom of my heart that since I have arrived in the USA, I have not met one person who has any remote interest in doing something about Our One Point Zero Challenge. I have had many, many interactions with people, from young to old, some fairly casual, some very intense, and my shock has been the extremely low level of awareness. I compare this to my experience in South Island New Zealand and the high level of awareness I usually encounter, and I am shocked. One of the worst contributors to Our One Point Zero Challenge seems to be the least aware, and the most disinterested.

As I reflect on my 18 months in New Zealand, I realise how really Nature and Planet aware most New Zealanders are. I compare the many discussions regarding how Nature works, Sustainability, Human responsibility, etc., that I have had with school leavers in New Zealand, to the one I had with my San Diego educated nephew, and the gap is enormous. This wasn’t about Jason, my nephew this was seemingly about a society and education system that is void of any interest or priority in these areas. Its early days, and this seems a harsh and impossible conclusion…..

I’m taking this information as early day stock taking information, and as I leave California, the ‘Trumped by Nature’ exploration will move continue with a desperately open mind hoping that my Californian sample was a non-representative outlier!

In closing this post, I wonder how you relate to ‘The Facts‘, and Our One Point Zero Challenge.  Maybe you don’t understand it all?  Maybe you don’t know why we should care? Maybe you don’t know how trying to live a One Point Zero life would benefit you? Maybe you think I’m mad trying to do it, or that I do it because of some stupid duty, or moral law, and that I’m not doing it because I prefer that way of life, but because I want to suffer?   Being with Ros and Bob, it was so clear to me that I have moved so far down a One Point Zero path that I don’t like their life style and much prefer mine. We discussed this and they did agree that they would like to have a simple, ethical life, but the change just seems so huge and impossible…..  I said I read into what they are saying as being that they can’t see a good enough reason for them personally to change…  This all leads to one’s soul…. I find it hard to believe that anyone can be at one and peaceful with their soul as a human and a member of the broader Humankind, if they are a contributor to the destruction of our home. As ‘The Facts‘ show, most of us who live in the Western world are not just contributors, but the biggest contributors and in many case the leaders of the destruction…..

My simple, small mind, says to me:    Once one knows and accepts the above, then starting a journey to Your One Point Zero becomes the path to real Freedom and Belonging with the Soul. A Moral /Ethically based Freedom and Belonging that surely is at, or close to, the highest level one can seek to achieve as a human?

Coming up…..  

My next Post will be on the America of Now:

How I am feeling America as it deals with the Police shootings, the Presidential elections, etc….. As I explore I’m getting a rich picture of America toady, and its pulse, and I’ll share that with you in the next day or so….

Near the Arizona / California border. less than 50 miles south of here the Colorada river stops in the desert!  All its water taken from it before it reaches the sea! This is one of the canals taking water to California. Anthropocentricism..... and exploiting Nature to the limit...for all of 'Us'
Near the Arizona / California border. less than 50 miles south of here the Colorada river stops in the desert! All its water taken from it before it reaches the sea! This is one of the canals taking water to California. Anthropocentricism….. and exploiting Nature to the limit…for all of ‘Us’