For if a building stands on shaky foundations, it won’t stand for long.
Words mean things: Alternative.
- a choice limited to one of two or more possibilities, as of things, propositions, or courses of action, the selection of which precludes any other possibility: you have the alternative of riding or walking.
- one of the things, propositions, or courses of action that can be chosen: the alternative to riding is walking.
- a possible or remaining course or choice: there was no alternative but to walk.
- offering or expressing a choice.
- different from the usual or conventional: as 1. existing or functioning outside the established cultural, social, or economic system; 2. of, relating to, or being rock music that is regarded as an alternative to conventional rock and is typically influenced by punk rock, hard rock, hip-hop, or folk music; 3. of or relating to alternative medicine.
For the most part it has remained intact, it seems. But read and reread “e”.
“Outside of the established cultural, social or economic system”.
A current addition to the meaning of the word. But is the Mainstream actually so? Let’s go back maybe two or three hundred years only, and consider what this definition might have meant.
Living in multistorey buildings would have been extremely alternative. The amount of pollution caused, as is the case today, probably incomprehensible. Using chemicals only to try to treat disease would have been totally foreign. Chlorine and Fluoride in water supplies unheard of. How “alternative” would have been anyone suggesting such things.
And yet today, just a couple of hundred years later, everything natural wholesome and good for us seems to, more and more, carry “alternative” implications.
Medically: Alternative medicine marginalizes anything other than “Main stream” medicine. But let’s check on this. Mainstream medicine has only been around for a couple of hundred years.
Anything before this (acupuncture, herbalists, homeopathic, colour therapies, massage and loads of others) which were “mainstream” have been push aside totally. The label that something is “alternative”, from a medical angle, has implied risk and carries certain thinking from those in the “main stream” against those seeking “alternative” intervention.
Lifestyle: Alternative lifestyle is applied and brings to mind hippies living in a cave, smoking dope. However maybe being crammed into big cities, where pollution, crime and disconnection from Nature rages, should actually be labelled as “Alternative”. The main stream application of “alternative” is doing a very good job of killing us all.
Being connected to nature is not alternative, it is actually Natural.
Culturally: What is “alternative” in one culture is not in another. Cows are sacred in India, whilst the eating of dogs is normal in others. How would anyone be able to clearly define Alternative and Mainstream, across the globe?
The boundaries of where Alternative stops and Mainstream starts, for me, don’t exist. For the most part I see most
mainstream as actually the Alternative.
Don’t leave yourself programmed or conditioned into a very small definition of thinking by what “mainstream” would have you do.