In the developed world, and in most urban environments throughout the world, electricity is taken as a guarantee. What then of the day that energy production stumbles? How many of us have candles in our homes? Why do we have these relics of an age without electrical generation?
Do we have these artifacts of the past because of traditions? Or, do humans still feel some sort of satisfying metaphysical connection with the light cast by a candle? Do we find a peace in the flickering of the flame … does it connect us with our space?
How much energy goes into the production of our candles and our matches? Would much energy be saved if every American family were to sit around a candle-lit dinner for each evening meal? What might we gain from adopting this habit? Would we only gain a moderate amount of energy, and an increase in production by the candle industry?
Could such action foster greater kinship and reverance for human interrelations and human life?
Can you picture a world where families did not have the radio or television playing during their meals? Where telephones were silenced?
Would our society gain from such a tactical delineation between what means family and what means other?
I think some of what might be gained can be seen in the occasional blackouts that haunt our system of eternal energy production and consumption.
After all as Eleanor Roosevelt so eloquently said during one of America’s roughest economic droughts … “It’s better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.”