Thursday, July 3, 2014

Return to DE Shaving, Change the World?

One thing leads to another: cause and effect. That is certainly a pattern we see every day.

A different pattern I see every day is scruffy, unshaven faces. But what is the cause of this effect? I often wonder if this fashion trend is simply due to the high cost of using the latest in patent-protected, multi-bladed, (and most recently) vibrating, battery-operated gizmos for our morning shaves. Is the common man simply economically discouraged, priced out of the daily shave; or does the ubiquitous scarcity of well-shaven men reflect a larger malaise, a lack of balance in the human psyche?

In generations passed, men were often motivated by their women to shave. The women often preferred the look and feel of smooth faces. And the men often responded to that feminine influence, reflecting a certain balance between masculine and feminine inclinations, between aggression and nurturing, testosterone and estrogen -- the blade and the chalice, for you DaVinci Code fans.

Yet today, men sport various stages of beard growth. Women no longer complain about coarse faces? Doubt it; more likely their protests are unheeded or are stifled. Imbalance.

Further imbalance: in the U.S., corporation money is what buys politicians' loyalties, their hearts and minds, while the politicians still mouth platitudes to appeal to the masses. The Democrats and the Republicans argue publicly about their differences, yet act according to the unseen masters who fund their elections and tenures in their posts.

Further imbalance: we pay lip service to preserving spaceship Earth, while driving more and more, using more energy, buying more throw-away products (like cartridge multi-blade shaving systems and cans of goo), every day dumping more carbon and other wastes into our only home. We act as though some solar panels, a few community windmills, our curbside-recycle bins that are one third the size of our trash cans -- these largely symbolic and inadequate acts -- will solve a problem that can only be solved by recognizing the fundamental issue: balance.

We are out of balance with nature. On PBS TV last night, I happened to see how we have decimated the salmon population in the U.S.' northwest by our short-sighted choices in deference to our unslaked desire for hydro-electric power, and then the idiotic and expensive non-solutions that only compound the problem. In essence, most of us still don't recognize that we need to learn to live with Nature, not try to control it.

And news flash: the problem with the salmon isn't disappearing salmon. The problem is that as the salmon are diminished, the whole ecosystem is weakened including our own support system.

The urban sprawl of our cities made possible by the automobile is poisoning the planet with green-house gasses. And instead of seriously reversing the trend, we are exporting it to every corner of the globe, most notably India and China, where the problem will be worse due to more lax emissions regulation and the enormous population. Our quest for oil leads to the highly-questionable practice of fracking, which is poisoning the water supply of whole communities.


We are an arrogant species -- not smart enough to meet Nature on Her terms, and too smart for our own good. We solve our perceived problems wearing blinders to the bigger picture. When we seek true balance over dominance, we have recognized enlightened self interest.

So if more men made the switch to daily DE shaving, would that begin to shift things, bring about more balance in the world: masculine-feminine, yin-yang, etc.?

No, I don't seriously believe that. However, if we started paying attention to details, things might start to change. If we think about where our trash goes and the ultimate consequences of that path we are on, we will begin to recognize the big picture. When we see that our fossil fuel problems are not solved by increased supply but instead are exacerbated by them, we have begun to understand. When politicians begin to think of the welfare of our great grandchildren instead of the next election or their corporate patrons, we may be on the right path.

DE shaving using natural, bio-degradable products and recyclable materials is just a small step toward balance in the world. Having a metal blade bank in which you store used DE blades and then recycle them, that is a small shift in consciousness. Using shaving soap packaged in recyclable paper or cardboard is another. Some persons can envision a universe in studying a molecule. Perhaps we can begin to pursue balance in our world by seeking balance in small steps. Maybe taking up DE shaving for the right reasons is a tiny turn for the better in the big picture.

If you get that, you may begin to comprehend it all.

Happy shaving!

No comments:

Post a Comment