Take It Back

minimalistic-featherYesterday I was listening to some Pink Floyd tunes and came across an old favorite called, “Take It Back”. I’d heard this song many times before but as I listened yesterday, I picked up a different message.

The song is written as though to a woman, but the woman to whom he was speaking was the Ocean. I heard an homage to the power, majesty, and grace the Ocean carries with it. Perhaps also a warning.

The message said to me that it isn’t our jobs as humans to save the oceans or the trees or the waterways. It said if we, as a species, don’t change our patterns, we’re going to need to start a “Save the Humans” campaign. The song was suggesting that if we don’t practice virtuous behavior, she may decide to take it back someday.

Humans have some questionable practices regarding the environment. The industrialized nations favor exploitation of resources over preservation. In the name of capitalism & progress, we’re making a mess of our home, the Earth. It’s the only one we’ve got. It seems reasonable to treat it with utmost kindness, humility, & respect.  Instead, we’re pretty disrespectful. Arrogant, even.

As I walked along the beach this morning, I thought again of this song and this idea. With only a few minor adjustments, the ocean could dismantle all the stuff on which we pride ourselves. Swoosh…all gone. It’s time to eat a big slice of Humble Pie before we end up with the whole pie slapped in our faces.

This line of thinking brought a smile to my face (I’ve got a weird sense of humor). I started thinking about how this all related to minimalism. Minimalism is a powerful part in the Save the Humans campaign.

Minimalism focuses on less consumerism because we realize we don’t need so much stuff. It leads us to think of things like recycling, ecologically sound eating habits; the whole sustainability thing. If humans, particularly the industrialized nations, were to embrace minimalism with gusto, we’d wipe out some, if not all, of the big problems facing us as a species.

Let’s take it back to basics.

“Be the change you want to see in the world” is one of the all time coolest bits of advice I’ve heard. I was blessed with this bit of wisdom from Mohandas Gandhi. He walked it and talked it. His accomplishments are proof. As esoteric as it seems upon first hearing, I’ve found it to be quite effective for manifesting change.

I’m in charge of me. You’re in charge of you. If each of us take it upon ourselves to walk on the Earth in a good way, we return the gift of respect and love the Earth has given us in giving us a place to live for all these thousands of years.

We don’t want her to be tempted to take it back.

* * * *

I’m humbled by the ocean’s power. What’s your opinion on human interaction with the Earth and the sea? While we’re at it, what do you think of Pink Floyd? Conversations welcome.





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19 Responses to “Take It Back”

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  1. Wow, Patrick, just beautiful! Firstly, Pink Floyd is pretty amazing! As for how we interact with our environment, I couldn’t agree more. However, I had this thought yesterday (and subsequently posted about it), what if all of us in the industrialized world were to become minimalists and we took all of our goods an distributed evenly world wide. I have a feeling we’d all still have more than needed. Plus, you add in the factor of what’s already in landfills and the amount of items still being created. I keep wondering where the solution arises. The main idea I came up with is to just stop buying, which would force companies to stop making. Yet, there’s still all the “stuff” already here. Hmmm…thoughts on this conundrum?
    Megyn @ Minimalist Mommi recently posted..Out of the Landfill. Creating Hoarders.

    • Patrick says:

      Hello Megyn,

      Thanks for coming by. I’m glad you enjoyed the post.

      I agree about Pink Floyd. Truly a legendary band.

      While I don’t think it’s going to happen anytime soon, the idea of a resource based economy, as put forth by Jacques Fresco of The Venus Project fascinates me. It makes so much sense. Money is an illusion, anyway. It only exists in human culture and it wouldn’t exist at all if we didn’t give it power.

      What you said about not buying unnecessary stuff is the real key. Combined with the Gandhi wisdom (be the change), every individual who does what they can to stop supporting corruption and greed makes a difference. The results might not be apparent but as long as the consciousness is there, it’s having an effect. A good one, in my opinion.

      Stuff will take care of itself once the mental state of consumerism is addressed. Each one of us is empowered to make changes in our minds that will show consumerism as the brainwashing technique it is.

      One step at a time; buy local, support organic farming, and reduce dependence on anything non-sustainable. Anything of value of which you have plenty, cultivate generosity by giving it away. All the groovy stuff for which minimalism stands.

      Thanks again for stopping by and sharing a comment.
      Patrick recently posted..Take It Back

  2. Thank you for sharing this post with all of us Patrick, I appreciate it. I remember the day we were walking on the beach and how our conversation drifted around and ended up turning into this post. Everyone, just so you know, this one’s been waiting in the wings for a while waiting for the right moment…. what better day to honor the mother earth and contemplate our relationship with her than the autumn equinox (which is today).

    In the meantime, happy weekend everyone! I will be doing a much needed unplug this weekend, no working on the book, getting online, or checking our blogs/websites. Patrick and I have fun plans for the weekend, celebrating the equinox with old friends and new tomorrow.

    Do you celebrate the changing of the seasons?

  3. Ha, Save the Humans! I like it. That’s for sure – once we’re gone I have no doubt the earth will heal herself. It’s us who will be extinct through famine, diseases with no cure, no food, no rain, and a million other non-life sustaining problems we’ve caused. We’ve already seen what they term “devastating loss of life” through the wild climate changed weather the past few years.

    That being said, I’ve been reading Beautiful and Abundant by Bryan Welch and he urges that sustainability and environmentalism should be looked at through a positive lens rather than a negative one. Instead of “We will all be incinerated when the earth’s temps rise 4 degrees so you better stop driving that Hummer RIGHT NOW!” it’s more of a “Look at how insanely beautiful all this is, let’s find great ways to preserve it!” Humans never do well getting beaten over the head, and there is a lot of arrogance in the communities that are constantly berating others, thinking it’s somehow going to make those people want to change. It never works that way.

    And finally, I love the ocean. But it scares the crap out of me. Hope that makes sense. To me, it feels like looking at God.
    Terra@TheSimplePoppy recently posted..Into Autumn

    • jaime says:

      Tara, Youa re so right. It is much better to look at sustainability issues froma postivie rather tahn a negative point of view. If we could all ust slow down for aminute maybe we could stop and notice all of the beauty that is around us. why wouldn;t you want to save it? preserve it? Living in a truly rural area has helped me slow downa nd really motice all of the beauty that still exists despite the damage that has already been done. It inspires me to want to do and be better.

  4. Patrick says:

    Hello Terra,

    Thanks for stopping by the Packrat. Always good to see you.

    My first impression of your comment is that it’s excellently written. Really well put together, impeccable grammar, useful content, and groovy personal insights. Well done. Respect & Gratitude.

    I hold the same opinion regarding the Earth’s ability to heal. She simply doesn’t have the arrogance that many humans have about it. We, as a species, love to convince ourselves that we have dominion over the Earth. Yeah, right. This planet has been here longer than any of us and will continue to be here long after we’re gone. In the meanwhile, she provides us with an amazing world of beauty and diversity, most of which we take for granted.

    Global warming/climate change (or whatever other title we choose to put on it) is so widely misunderstood and pointlessly argued. Regardless of who thinks what, our practices (mainly those of the corporations) are not sustainable. That means that at some point we humans are going to be in life-threatening circumstances. People arguing over minutiae is ridiculous. Fact is, greedy corporations being supported by corrupt politicians and ignorant consumers need to get their heads on straight and start supporting alternative energy, sustainable water usage, and sustainable agriculture. Period. No arguing, no twisting data to pad the issue, no more B.S.

    As you wisely pointed out, focusing on the negative doesn’t solve the problem. Looking at the beauty we have available, reviewing all the options, and using responsible technology to figure out the most effective way to make improvements feels much better and doesn’t get people all pissed off.

    Now I’ll hop off my soapbox (made of recyclable and recycled materials) and go on my merry way.

    Your closing comment about the ocean is excellent. “To me, it feels like looking at God” is one of the best phrases I’ve heard to describe it. Beautiful.

    Thanks again for stopping by and joining in the conversation. May your heart be light and your mind be clear.
    Patrick recently posted..Take It Back

  5. tammy says:

    wow. terra you spoke for me perfectly, much more eloquently than i ever could have, right down to loving and looking at the ocean as looking at the face of god. i like that.
    patrick your posts always touch me like a tuning fork.
    tanja’s humour and joy for living and love of all things minimal, that matches my own too, are always a delight!
    i was enchanted by the pictures and how she described your tiny house… the little jewel of life.
    i’ve just read the last 3 posts. i’ve been gone. my sister-in-law died last sunday night of cancer.
    long battle. much suffering. much courage. much saddness.
    once again, proof of our tiny little lives on this big beautiful planet and how it’s all connected.
    you spoke of my favorite gandhi quote. it has always given me hope.
    even if we start small…since there are 6 billion of us (probably more)…
    think if just each ONE of us did the best he or she could…
    nature would smile.
    love to you both,
    actually love to all your readers. i enjoy their comments and blogs so much too.
    there is strength in us!
    tammy j

    • oh tammy,

      I understand what a time it is for you. I am so happy to hear that you were able to spend that time with your sister-in-law and with your family. I feel absolutely blessed to have been present during my father’s passing, and I still remember how much of a time of change it was for me as well as him. Give yourself time to settle in. It is nice to see you back.

      I was amazed the other day to read that Gandhi is said to have been largely influenced by Thoreau. If Thoreau can influence Gandhi through his words, then perhaps now we as human individuals can become influenced by the work of both.

      Heights can be reached. Heights are being reached.
      Tanja from Minimalist Packrat recently posted..The Lost Art of Slowing Down

  6. Beautiful thoughts! I was going to simple say, “Yeah… what you said.” but I knew such a comment would get slapped down by your spam smacker.

    I especially like “Be the change you want to see in the world” That says in a single (short) sentence what I think is the most important aspect of life. Thank you for sharing this elegant piece of wisdom.

    I can’t claim much personal experience with the ocean, but I do understand the sentiments that if the ocean were to take a mind to “get back” at humanity, life on this planet could get tense! Even inland mountain dwellers like me are affected by weather patterns that originate over the oceans. I don’t fear a tidal wave, but drought or unending rain or 5 foot snowfalls would definitely affect my comfort levels! When I was a kid, Hurricane Beulah picked up her skirts and danced inland to smack around those of us in central Texas. Sobering thoughts indeed!
    Allan Douglas recently posted..Largest Boat Resue Ever

    • Patrick says:

      Hello Allan,

      Thanks for stopping by and for the comment. Appreciated, as always.

      Like all things, the ocean’s influence on humanity is much more broad than those reflected on the nearby shores. As you pointed out, wise man that you are, those weather patterns form over the ocean in response to wind and heat patterns generated over land masses. There may be water covering 70% of the Earth but it’s influence touches everything and everybody. The ocean is a powerful girl.

      I’m grateful the Earth isn’t vindictive. At least, I hope she isn’t :)

      Thanks for sharing your insights, Allan. Keep on keepin’ it real.

      Not to drag Twitter in here, but I really appreciate the supportive work you do for the artistic/writer’s community. Very cool. Gratitude.
      Patrick recently posted..Take It Back

  7. Mia says:

    I’m a big fan of protecting the oceans. I scuba dive regularly and give money to an organisation called Project Aware, which does great things for marine conservation, if anybody is interested. http://www.projectaware.org/

    Unfortunately, having a fish-eye view at how much damage we humans do to our marine environments can be humbling sometimes, and more than a little sad. We have a lot of work to do if we want to repay our debt to this beautiful planet!

    • Patrick says:

      Hello there Mia,

      Thanks for sharing the link. Grass roots efforts have tremendous potential for supporting beautiful things.

      I think it’s cool that you scuba dive. One of those things I’ve thought about for years and have yet to do. Scary and exciting at the same time.

      Thanks for stopping by, commenting, and for the link. May smiles in your life come with ease and comfort.
      Patrick recently posted..Take It Back

    • Hanna Ross says:

      Yes, we must need to protect our oceans and the marine creatures. Since, there are already a lot of phenomenon taking places that provide a great damages to the people I think it is now our time to take good care of our environment most especially the oceans.
      Hanna Ross recently posted..Toxic Colon : Detoxify your colon

  8. I think “Be the change you want to see in the world” is really just a poetic way of saying “Set a good example.” It’s also an excellent mantra to live by. Thanks, Patrick!

    Also thanks for mentioning Pink Floyd. I haven’t listened to them recently, but they were among my favorites back in the day. Maybe I need to do some listening again.
    Mike | Homeless On Wheels recently posted..Exploring RV Living – Staying Connected

  9. victor Collins says:

    I like the illustration that has been used ie the power of the ocean. I believe each one of us can make a change wherever we are however small the change is, it can make a difference.
    victor Collins recently posted..New Kim Kardashian date

  10. Diana says:

    I like the illustration that has been used ie the power of the ocean. I believe each one of us can make a change wherever we are however small the change is, it can make a difference.
    Diana recently posted..wow horde leveling guide

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    Wanted good writeup.. hírek 24.hu It actually was a new activity profile it. Look difficult to be able to additional added in flexible within you! Mind you, how should we maintain the distance learning?

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