Sunday, 18 December 2016

Fighting on Facebook

I checked messages early this morning just to ensure I really do have an 8:30 meeting this morning and it wasn't cancelled due to the freezing rain. And I came across a hot debate going on on Facebook over, of all things, growing your own food. One person contended that we "moved past" all that growing your own food and saving your own seed "thing" and left it behind so we could have more art, music, education, and travel in our lives.

Well, okay, I acknowledge that medieval peasants didn't have a lot of free time to pursue the arts (though they did dance and sing sometimes). I can see the bit about having difficulty travelling because you have a crop in the field or chickens to feed...but there's such a thing as automated watering systems and neighbours who will swap chores with you. I fail to see how education would have to be sacrificed just because I want to grow cabbage. And it's not as if you spend 24/7 standing in the garden encouraging the brussels sprouts. You can take evenings and Sundays and---well, nine months of winter---for playing instruments or painting canvases.

This woman on Facebook also contended that people don't have time for "all that" these days. I work a 60-hour week but still manage to find time for the things I value. I think it all boils down to choices---Do you spend your time watching TV or wandering through malls or lunching with friends? Do you spend it reading or playing with an orchestra or attending school? Do you spend it knitting and drying beans and bottling beets? It just depends on what you value and what you enjoy. You make time for the things that matter to you. And I contend that if you don't make time for them, you don't really value them.

We all have the same gift of 24 hours in a day. Much of it has to be spent supporting ourselves somehow, whether that's through working in an office or building roads or babysitting children. A certain number of hours of it has to be spent sleeping. But the rest of it is ours to use as we choose. That third bit, whatever its size, is the part that really has the ability to reflect what we care about.

In my "down time" I like reading and writing and gardening and doing handicrafts. I like baking and walking outdoors. I watch my fair share of TV, though it's usually documentaries. I attend church. I interact with my family and pets. It all reflects what I value. If it doesn't, I need to make adjustments and cut out the superfluous. But you can't make the argument that you have no time for the things you value. You can only confess that you haven't chosen to spend your time on those things, or that you don't truly value them. It is a good exercise to stop occasionally and re-evaluate.

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