Recently, many of those I know (myself included) who hold both the agency and privilege of choice, have been drawn to living ‘off-grid to ‘divest’ from this crumbling oppressive system and all it stands for.
While I have no doubts that exploring and/or living alternative lifestyles is an honourable task to embark on, and most often creates grounding and connection to the living world and all her beings … unplugging completely from the tornado of supremacy we dwell within is not all that far off from the elites’ obsession with the colonization of Mars. Nor the toxic positivity created by the wellness industry which places blinders on reality.
Essentially (though not always), these routes of escapism are used by the privileged to sideline the issues they (and their ancestors) contributed to and benefit(ted) from. Rather than sticking around to be accountable for the difficult and arduous work of collaborative problem-solving, community resilience, and collective dismantling.
While disengagement provides solace for a time; a space to find peace, gather thoughts, regenerate resilience, and glean wisdom. Sometimes that escape can result in disengagement from the world’s problems as well. While we all deserve joy in our lives, all that joy lacks true abundance when it doesn’t also provide space for wellness with those who need it most.
Obviously, this is not a two-sided coin, but just like those who delve into the spirit worlds using religious texts or the fragments of ancestral ritual not yet stolen, “you can’t just sit in the abstract space [or dwell outside your culture], because you need to take the knowledge back to apply it to the real world, and vice versa”.
We can’t escape one another nor the destructive systems we dwell within. Somewhere there is a balance of boundaries, one which finds ways around the system while simultaneously dismantling it. Finding ways towards one another without cults of separation. Liberating ourselves in ways that also liberate others, because “nobody’s free until everybody’s free”, after all.
Like all things, “being the change we wish to see” is a practice. A set of actions that evolve (imperfectly) over time allowing us to align our lives with our deepest and most hopeful beliefs. It is in that daily practice of learning the balance of ‘give and take’, that we learn the act of reciprocity, shedding what was in exchange for what could be. The effervescent ebb and flow that evolves our ways of being, (inter)connecting us to one another and all living things.