Human Planet


I don’t know how many of you out there stream videos, but a couple times a month my wife and I like to sit down and binge watch a few episodes of something on Netflix or Amazon Prime (Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial).  We use the savings of not having cable as justification for Netflix, although our goal is to eventually give up television altogether in our goals of financial independence.  Baby steps though, baby steps.

Anyways, last weekend we chose a documentary to watch called “Human Planet” and I’m very glad that we did.  I was hoping for some really fascinating video of some amazing landscapes which there were of course, but I got a lot more than that. I definitely wasn’t expecting to be humbled.

I was watching this show over the weekend and they began to illustrate these scenes where families were working half of the day, if not the whole day just to put food on the table for themselves and their children.  Often even their very children went out and helped to secure sustenance.  About this same time, I walked over to my pantry to see if I could find any snacks because I was wanting something to munch on.  I came back and sat on my couch when it really struck me just how blessed myself and my family truly are.  I didn’t have to go milk a cow for this cheese, nor did I have to thresh wheat to make these crackers (Yes, I had cheese and crackers as a snack). I started to wonder what our lives would be like if we had to wake up the very next morning and do what these families did in order to survive.

I then realized my skill-set is quite limited by comparison.  I had more money, sure – but I’ve only seen on TV how a cow is milked. I’ve never sown and harvested my own grain.  How is the cracker even made?? I realized just how much I still have to learn on our mission to have a more self-sustaining lifestyle.  I currently know so little about so much of the workings of the natural world. I went on in my thoughts like this for several more minutes, realizing our journey had only just begun.

When I began to pay attention to the show again I saw this family just has happy as can be to have shared another successful day of working together, as a family. It was quite humbling to be reminded (yet again) that these people had so little money (compared to myself) yet shared moments of pure happiness with one another, smiling, laughing, playing. Again, it was incredibly touching.

Do you have any, we’ll call them ‘sustainable’ skills that you hope to learn this year?  I have a new one because of watching this show – mine is to learn how to sow and harvest a grain of some type. I’m thinking wheat.


What about you? Or are you content to just have to navigate the grocery store parking lot be the limit of your food acquiring skill set?

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6 thoughts on “Human Planet”

  1. I’m definitely acutely aware of how dependent our household is on the overall supply chain of modern life. I have no sustainable skills to speak of. If you really want an appreciation for how fragile our modern civilization is, you should check out Jared Diamond’s book ‘Collapse’, I found it to be a fascinating read!

  2. I think about it all the time how little skills I have to survive on my own. I would be lost trying to navigate the world without a grocery store close by. It’s definitely something that I’m acutely aware that I am deficient in and something that I know I need to learn about. Maybe this is the spring to finally plant a garden 🙂

    1. I bet that was a very insightful experience! I’d love to learn about the various plants around where I live that are quite probably overlooked.

      Thanks for sharing!

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