On DNA and Consumption

We are composed of carefully coded bits of information, a double helix holding the spark of life.  Mine says that I am to have strong hair and fingernails. I was a predestined asthmatic. My code gave me mismatched toes and a suitable tolerance for religion.  I am thick-skinned.  I am the same height as my grandfather. A grand man, that George W. Mouk. Each of us carries our own code.  Some of it is shared, like how your smile reminds everyone in your family of your great Aunt Lucy who passed just after the Great Depression.  She was penny pincher, they say. You are a spend-thrift.  Those may just be generational difference, though.  The code only goes so far.

We all share a particular bit of DNA coding, though.  Every winter when the Rocky Mountain air blows south, our bodies remind us that the lean months are coming, that we should store up a nice layer of fat.  Before the industrialization of the market we listened rightly.  We killed an extra deer and salted it’s meat.  We planted tubers that would make it through the cold months.  We gathered grains in the storehouse like Joseph waiting for the seven skinny calves to devour the seven fat ones.   The bit was made for our survival. Oh, gracious God.

Somewhere along the way the propagandizers learned the art of exploitation and hacked this particularly vulnerable bit of the double helix.  They learned to manipulate our coded proclivities, to make us feel the need of constant consumption.  They’ve told us that self-control is sub-human or at least unpatriotic.  More inputs, they say. More fuels. More plastics. More food. More finance. More stimulation.  Always more stimulation.  Our lifestyles are unsustainable without more stimulation. And our genetics make us particularly receptive to these messages. The market knows it.

I carry remnants of my grandfather’s smile.  I remember him saying, “save some for the winter, boy.”  Somehow I hope I haven’t consumed it all when the seasons change.

Gracious God, protect us from ourselves.