wishlist for society

While having to endure frustrations may make me a stronger person, there are days I just make a mental list of how I wish things in America were.  Couldn’t fast food restaurants be annihilated, at least the greasy French fry and paper-wrapped part of them?  And if subdivisions were prohibited from being so monotonous and artless, wouldn’t America be a much more beautiful place?  I guess there is hope in America’s freedom.  While the things allowed in the food industry are appalling right now, the good news is that no one has to raise their chickens and cattle in their own manure, and no one has to live in cookie-cutter houses.  It might cost you an arm and a leg not to, but sometimes it’s more rewarding to go around limbless than to submit to a life void of creativity and justice and purpose.


So, with no further ado, my wishlist for our society:


1. All crops are raised organically with sustainable agricultural practices.

2. Franchises and chain businesses cease to exist.

3. Communities are built with a grocery store, library, fabric store, hardware store, school, and park within two miles.

4. Churches are no larger than 1000 people.

5. Bartering and freecycling is commonplace.

6. Well-planned train systems sprawl across large cities.

7. Everyone has had training in gardening, the arts, and healthy food preparation.

8. Locally designed and sewn clothes are widely available.

9. Businesses are all closed on Sunday.

10. Disposable grocery bags have been discontinued.

11. All restaurants require bring-your-own take-out containers.

12. There are no tanning salons.

13. Roads are built primarily for pedestrians and bicyclists.  And maybe horses.

14. Houses are built to last at least 100 years.  Builders are independent architects, who care more about making a structure beautiful than they do about making it quickly.

15. There is an art or historical museum for every movie theater.

16. Paper is produced from renewable resources.

17. There is one street musician and one artist for every person with a desk job.

18. Free high-speed wireless internet access is provided everywhere, but not at the expense of undeveloped land.

19. Electricity is powered by wind, sun, and people riding bicycles at the gym.

20. There is a concert for every sporting event.

21. There is a park for every square mile of city.

22. One book is read for every movie that is watched.

23. Teachers and farmers are highly paid professionals.

24. We know the people who grow 75% of our food.  We know the other 25% secondhand.

25. Families have no more than one car.

26. Homebirthing is common.  Breastfeeding is the norm.

27. Churches are staffed by volunteers. Fulltime volunteers are provided for by the gifts of those they serve.

28. Drugs are last-resort health remedies.

29. Lawns are watered with waste water.

30. Fair trade abounds.


I imagine I could go all the way up to 100 if I put my mind to it, but I will spare you from more of my idealism.  Idealism is wonderful, though, and it gives me a place to start and helps me dream.  I am not hoping for a heaven on earth.  I am hoping for a society intelligent enough to be good stewards, creative enough to imagine a Creator, and responsible enough to pass on a legacy of justice to generations to come.

What’s on your wishlist?

  1. A few not-well-thought-out wishes of mine:

    Lawns are replaced mostly by vegetable gardens.
    In summer, air-conditioned places are kept at temperatures within 10 degrees or so of the outside temperature.
    Every community has regular trash-picking days, where you get to find treasures for free out by the curb.

  2. Just a few of my wishes:

    1. Every apartment complex has a recycling bin
    2. Cities with a population over 75,000 have regular, dependable public transportation systems that cover the entire city
    3. Music, art and language are considered part of core education
    4. Instead of being indoors on the computer or watching TV, children prefer to play outside
    5. Every family has access to a small plot of ground to grow what they like
    6. We forget what we know to be Christianity and re-learn it as it should be known.

    • clbeyer
    • May 27th, 2008

    Rachel, your third idea sounds like very much fun.

    Brooke, number one idea for you just makes me mad — just because it doesn’t exist right now. Are you having that problem where you live? That’s just ridiculous if you are. And ditto on all your other ideas, too.

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