What's a reasonable life?

I think about what a reasonable life is everyday and I'm not sure I've got it figured out yet. I know it has something to do with living in such a way as to not cause harm to oneself or others. This turns out to be surprisingly difficult if your definition of others includes people who live far away and people who are animals and plants and topsoil and water.

I do know a reasonable life requires taking into account what is known about peak oil, climate change, economics, food security, animal welfare and human rights. I'm continually disturbed at my own ability to compartmentalize my knowledge of these subjects so that I don't feel an urgent need to change my own behaviour in response. I'm far more disturbed by the deliberate lying that we as a society are subject to. Politicians and corporations are so vested in the lie that we can consume our way to a better world, and just about everyone is so eager to hear that message that I despair of the suffering that will no doubt result.

A reasonable life isn't a dreary life, even if it seems like acknowledging the trouble the world is in should be overwhelming and depressing. Part of the journey for me has been growing and preparing our own food which has resulted in healthier and more enjoyable meals. The entire family has fallen in love with 5 silly chickens who provide us with eggs and amusement. I quit my stressful corporate job and spend more time than ever with our unschooled daughter. She pursues her own interests and doesn't worry about homework or getting up early.

I'm not satisfied with my attempts to reduce consumption of energy and stuff. We live in the country and travel by car to every place we go. We live on half of what we did before I quit my job, but we still consume far more than the global average.

I believe that living a reasonable life now, in the last days of apparently limitless civilization, is really the only thing one can do to prepare for the inevitable collapse of the house of cards we've built over the last couple of hundred years. Not only is it right to consume less and be happy with less, it will make the coming constraints much easier to bear.


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