Monday, October 17, 2011

Have We Come Too Far

As I surface from my research and writing about the seventeenth century, I listen to what is going on in today’s society. I think that the brave people who came to these shores and settled this country one town at a time would not be happy with the lack of leadership, the erosion of respect for each other, and the just plain greedy corruption of our government.

To begin I have to acknowledge that there was greed in the 1600s and the leaders chosen were from the wealthiest – sound familiar. There also was no equality for women. However, our foremothers were more comfortable in their skins than we women are today.

The correlations of struggle

Since my book, “Tracing the Invisible Women” is about the first women that walked our land, I am trying to find correlations between their lives of struggle and today’s challenges for women. We have all manner of machines to do our work for us. Washing machines do the laundry instead of a full day of having to boil the water outside and scrub the clothes by hand. We go to the shops and buy our clothes instead of carding, spooling, warping, spinning, knitting, weaving, sewing and the many other tasks it took to cloth a family.

There are, however, two ways I think the colonial women had it better than us.

A mission – a passion – a purpose

The pioneering women who helped settle this country lived with a purpose. We may not agree today that having as many children as possible to populate a new country for their faith was a reasonable mission but where would we be if they had not had this spiritual fervor. That, of course, is not all that they did. They helped build communities of people who took care of each other.

As I research the lives of these women, I recognize that they have descendants in every corner of our country today. That is quite a legacy.

Expectation – the drive to have

 Our foremothers were building a legacy for their faith and their only expectation was that God would smile on their efforts and they would multiply.

Conversely, our society today driven to possess, to own, is bankrupting itself. The expectations are so high that we SHOULD HAVE everything we want we have unfortunately reduced the pleasure in what we do have.

Do we have the answers?

The question is how can we stop ourselves from the rampant consumerism and be satisfied with less material goods and put our energies instead toward being involved in building communities.
Can we do it? Do you have any suggestions on how? I would love to hear them. Comment here, tweet me or find me on Facebook. Let’s start the discussion.

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