by Bob   |   August 28, 2009

Somewhere in the long journey to where we are today, our lives got out of whack.  We (as a society) started to think that money was the goal rather than a full and satisfied life.  We invented money as an abstraction for goods that were not easily transported or to purchase additional labor when more hands were needed to meet our basic needs.  Then we traded our time for money and slowly, but steadily ignored and castoff hinderances in our chase towards monetary reward.  And we did a lot of this by outsourcing--the simple act of paying someone or some system to do the work that we can't or won't--because we are working to pay for (you guessed it) outsourcing basic tasks among other things. 

Some outsourcing is likely good like education where we pay folks to educate our children but home schooling works in many cases too.   Public safety and roads probably land in the good category as well, but here too there are examples where it does not have to be outsourced.  These examples aside, the rest are mostly not good.  Having nannies raise your kids or dry cleaning, while getting the job done have some and often many unsatifactory side effects. 

Switching gears.  Two years ago I grew a small crop of potatoes; I planted some purple and some white ones which all turned purple in the end.  One evening I had a hankering for potato chips.  So I took my purple potatoes and sliced them really thin and fried them in organic olive oil.  Salted them to taste and had a modest feast where we got pleasure from every individual chip.  After washing the dishes and pans--done.

Contrast this with any super market aisle brand.  Potatoes grown using agri-business techiques, shipped 1000s of miles for processing, shipped thousands of miles for selling.  We eat them by the handful--not tasting or savoring or honoring--because they are cheap and not tough to get. And then we are left with agricultural pollution and a yet another unwanted pile of packaging. 

I think we all understand and appreciate the good and bad sides of outsourcing and grasp the fact that part of "more of what matters" means getting rid of that which is truly not a benefit such as many forms of outsourcing.  So my proposal is this:  Look around your lives and see if you can switch outsourcing for "insourcing." (If outsourcing is a trend, New Dreamers can certainly start an insourcing trend).  See what you can do and share your stories with us and other New Dreamers!  Let's have some fun with this!