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First, I must apologize to my newsletter subscribers. Wednesday was my first “forget.” Please forgive me for a “Chariot Notes” no-show! It WILL be in your mail next Wednesday.

Lately, I’ve read articles on communal civilizations, where money had no value, no one bartered for services, and there was no societal hierarchy—no one “lording” over another. There were no egos.

One or two families tended the land, planted the crops, and harvested its produce. For instance: if it was rice, someone else’s job was storing and cooking it; another person ground it into mill for bread; someone else prepared the bread.

The fishermen fished the streams and lakes. The shepherds cared for the sheep. The shearers sheared. The fleecers prepared the fleece into yarn, then, the yarn was spun, and knitted into clothing.

Vegetables and fruit were the same. Those living in the fields, gardens, and orchards tended, picked, and prepared its produce. The same went for maintaining and directing the water supply for irrigation, drinking, cooking, and hygiene. Each occupation was passed down through the generations.

“For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.” 2 Thessalonians 3:10 (KJV)

These weren’t responcibilities. Each member of the village/tribe considered it their sacred rite to the circle of life…so that they could live. What was of value was each member’s contribution to the community. The shepherds ate from the land and wore the clothes, just as the clothiers drank the milk and ate the cheese from the sheep.

No one was homeless, hungry, or naked.

There was no delinquency; no crime; no competition; no stress.

There was no need for banks, government handouts, counseling centers, fitness gyms, farmer’s markets, restaurants, civic centers.

Rural life wasn’t easy, but everyone shared everything. Everything, and everyone, was safe.

What would you say was the common denominator for such peaceful coexistence?

R.S.V.P.

photo anthropologist African tribe

Here’s the heartwarming result of such harmony:

An anthropologist proposed a game to the kids in an African tribe. He put a basket full of fruit near a tree and told the kids that whoever got there first won the sweet fruits.

When he told them to run, they all took each other’s hands and ran together, then sat together enjoying their treats.

When he asked them why they had run like that, as one could have had all the fruits for himself, they said:

”UBUNTU, how can one of us be happy if all the other ones are sad?”

‘UBUNTU’ in the Xhosa culture means: “I am because we are”

It sounds like God’s original plan, don’t you think?

Ecological Footprint from a Wheelchair

Who we are has nothing to do with our mode of transportation (wheelchair, Volkswagen or Rolls Royce), designer clothes, profession, or annual income; but everything to do with our passion and positive contribution to the world.

One of my passions is nature and our earth’s preservation. They not only allow me the rapture of their beauty, but life-sustaining food and oxygen. Directly and indirectly, their quality is up to us.

As for my ecological footprint, I’m considered fanatical by some. Before I was sixteen, I remember turning the water off while brushing my teeth and washing my face or hands. It seemed such an unconscionable waste. Even now I wash both in cold water, and when waiting for the water to warm up for hand-washing dishes, I collect the cold in a watering container to bathe my flowers in-between showers. FYI: Rolling from a wheelchair requires no more from nature than walking. It’s not our physical capabilities or disabilities that determineapathy–lack of consciousness and appreciation–for life sustaining earth that . Are you?

I use only natural cleaning products and no chemicals on my yard or gardens. I have w-a-y too much wildlife to risk their health, although I do have pest control spray around my windows and doors every other month. Occasionally even then, during extended rainy seasons, industrious ants find their way inside.

My cat litter, WBCL (World’s Best Cat Litter), is recyclable, made from corn. What gets scooped, I scatter in my wood as fertilizer. The trees clap their branches and whisper their thanks.

Another reason trees thank me: I don’t buy paper towels, paper napkins, or paper products. I recycle paper bags as gift wrapping, as I do other’s gift wrappings to me. Although I use a set of washable, environmentally friendly bags for grocery shopping, when I run low on my large paper bags to contain my recyclable “mixed papers”, I request paper bags at my grocer.

I do not use plastic baggies, plastic utensils or plastic containers. I DO break a lot of my glass containers, but they’re recyclable!

Concerning carbon dioxide emissions, I plan errands around my (or my helper’s) location in town. Whatever I need (or think I need) from across town takes second fiddle—it waits. Fortunately, I live in a small town where everything lies in close proximity.

Within two-and-a-half miles of my home are my bank, dentist, doctor, gas station (Shell’s American gas, not exported; although gas mileage isn’t an issue. My office is only nineteen push wheels from my kitchen.), grocery, hospital, farmer’s market (locally grown), favorite fast food, favorite restaurant, and health food store (all three organic), office supply store where I purchase recycled paper and recycle it, recycling drop-off, and veterinarian. The cherry on top is: my hair stylist is within shouting distance—directly across the street!

As for methane, I own no cattle or swamps.

As for chlorofluorocarbons, out of necessity I do use one aerosol for the occasional lube job—to keep my wheelchair from locking up.

Yes, you could say that I live in a bubble. But, it allows me to breathe deeply, and guilt-free.

FYI: Rolling through life from a wheelchair requires no more from nature than walking. It’s not our physical capabilities or disabilities that determine the size of our “footprint.” It’s a mental disability of apathy (or honest ignorance): lack of consciousness and appreciation for our life-sustaining earth and her homies. Please educate yourself.

As Oprah quotes Maya Angelo, “When you know better, you do better.”

Might you consider changing one of your indulgencies, for the world’s sake?