There was a time when I used to listen to the old people reminiscing about the “good old days”. I never thought I would become one of those people – especially since I found myself wistfully brooding in that direction decades ago when I was still quite young. As the years have passed, the loss of so many of the old values have made me even sadder. Perhaps it is because I lived for a decade in Europe where culture was a basic part of life and it wasn’t all that rare to meet people who were connected to nature and the land. It simply seemed to me that the average American was far more interested in finding fame and riches and these things were lost with previous generations.
I was a writer, an artist, a landscape designer and a fanatic gardener – none of the respected skills that were admired by an American society that raised a population on acquisitiveness, competition and materialism. It seemed people in this country seemed so much more stressed yet technology has intensified the need for immediacy, instant gratification and the drive to be perpetually focused on what they didn’t have instead of what they had. I lived in a world where people, love, kindness, nature, our planet and even God was worshiped less than the Almighty buck. Of course, not every person is the same, but everywhere you look everything is covered with advertising that shouts dissatisfaction and consumption. It’s hard not to be conditioned by this constant input.
Imagine my surprise when I just learned there is a new magazine that is steeped in the appreciation of gardens, life, creativity, art and the earth. The first issue of Greenwoman Magazine has just entered into the floundering business of print publishing. For years magazines have contained less and less helpful information as the ads blared louder and louder. Even most of the information usually encourages people to buy more or better products or services. What happened to feel-good writing? Where did the poetry go? Why did so many environmentalists feel they had to go violent or extremist just to be heard? Where did our humanity go? The magazines of a half century ago shared new discoveries, laughter, creativity and individual views. Okay. I’m still lamenting the loss of these old values.
I write gardening articles for the Internet and my most helpful, sincere and informative article earn the least. I’ve learned to make money I need to write articles that sell, sell, sell. And it’s become the mantra of the world. Economics rule. Not only in America but everywhere now. You NEED to own the best, the latest and more than the next guy or you are inferior. The only thing I’ve seen from this value system is a small percentage of our population getting obscenely rich while product and service quality loses integrity, longevity and value. And huge numbers of our population become less healthy and sustained on fast foods, anti-depressants and Viagra. Where did the joy of living go? Why is it now rare for people to express passion, unconditional kindness, basic appreciation for the little blessings of life?
Apparently, I’m not the only one who feels like this and am thrilled to see the birth of a magazine like Greenwoman Magazine. I feel so encouraged. Logically, this quality magazine that celebrates those old values in the form of real, useful garden information from experts, insights from the heart in poetry and visual communications in the form of hand-made art – should have no hope of success when so many huge, massed magazines are failing with the competition from the Internet (despite its plethora of misinformation) and the financial depredation of the recession. Instead I am encouraged. Maybe there is a new rebellion going on here. Maybe it’s the 1960s revolution for the second decade of the 2000s. Maybe the subculture this time is a counter revolution where technology is not attacked, just circumvented. Could this be a sign that there are enough of us left to want to reinvent the world with new OLD values? A world with heart? A world where technology and profit can exist but aren’t EVERYTHING? Could this be the answer to all those exported jobs – new businesses that service people and the planet making enough money while generating huge profits for the heart and soul? We do have it in us. The human being has shown some marvelous capabilities beyond greed, entitlement, and self indulgence. We can be like our gardens, integrated, interdependent societies where individuals grow supported by all the other individuals in a common community.
I have great hopes for this little magazine. Perhaps it will reinstate the success of magazines. Of quality. Of responsible caring. If there are enough of us, we can make this a better world. One magazine, one article, one plant, one poem, one picture – one person at a time. Are you a part of the revolution? This might even be fun!
You can find Greenwoman Magazine at http://greenwomanmagazine.com.
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