Posted by: David McKay | November 15, 2011

Getting refocused on what’s important

I want to continue on a theme I started in the last post I wrote.  I want to connect a few dots:

  • The American Chemical Council
  • Red Dawn
  • The Plastic Bag
  • This Time

I recently spent some time with some kids making “found” poems.  This is where you look through a piece of writing and find the words or phrases that catch your eye, that resonate with you.  Take those words and phrases and make a list.  Take that list and create a poem out of it.  Find the connections and make something beautiful.

I find connections all the time in my life.

Let’s start with the first item on the list:

The American Chemical Council.  Who do these people think they are?  They are hell-bent on destroying our world.  They want to fight every attempt at banning plastic bags from our lives.  Screw that.

Red Dawn.  The state of the world, thanks in part to those people in power that want to manipulate and destroy and abuse and be small-minded and greedy (note the above, fore-mentioned American Chemical Council) is symbolically becoming like the movie, Red Dawn.  Have you seen it?  Should we run to the hills?  I have been gravitating over the past few years towards those hills.  Here I am, living in the mountains baking my own bread and learning how to grow my own food.

The Plastic Bag.  The innocuous plastic bag.  The definition of innocuous is this: not likely to give offense or to arouse strong feelings or hostility; inoffensive.  Seen just one at a time, you might agree that the plastic bag is not harmful.  Consider how many plastic bags are produced every year.  Do you know that number?  Google this question: ‘How many plastic bags are used every year?’  500 million to 1 trillion is the estimate I found by doing just a minute of research.  I could dig deeper, but I don’t really need to.  I merely need to look out the window as I drive to work.  I bet you I will see a plastic bag polluting my world with its innocuousness…

This Time.  This one is pretty simple.  This time is my time.  Mine.  I don’t want to fuck it up.  I am working on becoming a father — May 1st is the rough estimate.  Do you think I want my child to enter a world that cannot get its shit together?  This is the only time I have.  I need to make a difference.  And I do not take that personal mandate lightly.  I set the rules of my life.  I do.  I said that this one is pretty simple.  Apparently, it’s not.  But, I can look at the complexity of my life simply.  So can you.  It’s this:

Slow down.

Have a good night, you guys…



  1. As an environmentally-conscious mom of a 17-month-old, I really relate to the desire to “not fuck it up” and the fear that we already have. It breaks my heart to think of the moms and dads out there who don’t have the opportunity we have to make a good world for their little ones. Babies raised in garbage ghettos that WE helped create. Little ones working in sweat shops to make clothes for us, that we then throw away a year later. And, the sadly ironic part of it is how little of the items sold to us for our kids keep these tragedies in mind. I exclusively buy thrifted items for my little guy now because I could not find an easily accessible product for him that was not made in China or India or that didn’t have a lot of packaging.

    Congrats on becoming a dad. I’m always glad when there are more parents out there who don’t think convenience is more important than values.

    • Thanks, Beth. I am constantly trying to keep in mind what the hidden costs are in what I purchase. I really do not spend a whole lot of money, and rarely do I buy something brand new. We are definitely getting a lot of hand-me-downs for the little one on the way…

  2. nice writing-but the profanity at the end really changes the tone and makes the reader forget the message. do you really think plastics are the biggest problem facing us today? apparently you are living a rather sheltered life up there in rural Vermont. Maybe you should get a tv and see what is going on in the rest of the world. Lots of pain and suffering that needs a cure.

    • Thanks, pop. I do give consideration when I use profanity. Sometimes, well, I just need to let a few words out now and again. I threw my television in the dump years ago and I will probably never own another one. I am aware that there is a lot of pain and suffering in the world. If I could solve all of the woes that this planet has, I would. But, I can’t. I can keep working on the one I have chosen, however — plastic. Thank you for taking the time to read this, and to write something about it — that means a lot to me. Love.

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