Crafting Our Future

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There is an old story about a girl and her red shoes which illustrates well our modern civilization's struggles with a machine - dominated world.

A poor, young orphaned girl who lived with oer oft disgruntled aunt, once made herself a pair of red shoes with pieces of cloth and thread and leather and her own enthusiastic hands. It was'nt the prettiest pair but the shoes had their charm - she loved them and she danced with them and they served her well. One fine day, a lady arrived at her village in dazzling chariot and asked her if she would come along to live in her big house. She went with the lady and soon she was scrubbed and cleaned and taken to a shop to buy beautiful clothes and the most shiny, fancy pair of red shoes in the world. It was a whole new life - oh, how she loved to wear those shoes and dance to her heart content.

To get out out of the watchful and restrictive eyes of her new foster mother she walked to the nearby woods, one day, and ran and skipped and danced away. Late in the evening, she was tired and afraid in the dark forests; she tried to remove her smard red shoes to rest. The next day, as soon as she woke up, her red shoes seem to make her dance by themselves. And she danced on and on, but wanted to stop and eat and rests. She came to a village and danced to a cobblers stop and asked him to remove her shoes. The kind man gave her some food but could not remove her shoes - they seem to have stuck to her feet. Afraid to go back home, she wandered around - or rather kept dancing around trying every now and then to remove her shoes.

Absoilutely tired and helpless, she went back to the cobbler - he tried with all his tools, but could not wrest them off her feet; she finally managed to stop dancing - by getting her feet cut off.

Its not a pleasent story - neither is the story of our modern civilization which continues to celebrate the production of huge amounts of machine made things at every level and in every sphere. Over the last two centuries of industralization especially, our addiction to stuff has become suicidal. Produced alongside are huge amounts of waste of every kind - plastics, paper, household food waste and hazardous and poisonus waste which often end up polluting our waters and degrading our land.

We need to go back to valuing our crafts if we wish to live sustainably on earth. As much as oil and capitilism with unending grouth are part of the problem, craft and organic agriculture can be part of the soulution. The usual question now would be - are we to go back to the jungles. We cannot stop developement, can we? The answer is not ' no development', but development that does not trash the planet or exploit the 80% of "less developed" people or 100% of future generations.

There are actually millions of people around the world whoare showing the way by taking action at a personal, community, activist and at governmental levels and the Bhoomi Magazine is committed to sharing their stories.

Going organic and engaging in a craft or buying handloom, handicrafts and other local hand made products, are a few of the many ways in which we can live more responsibly on our planet.  and at the same time live with beauty and support  the craftspeople. It is one way in which we can celebrate the hand made shoes that makes us dance happily and stop the frenzied 'dance' of a machine dominated life. It can make life more beautiful and deeply satisfying.