A thoughtful post by Brenda Barrett discusses the possibility that restrained growth may be the new normal.
I tend to agree and believe that it is very important that we as individuals, communities and countries embrace new models of living based on sustainability. This is what I am calling sustainable equilibrium.
In other words, will we live in harmony with our precious planet, exercising balance and constraint?
I hold hope and vision for a sustainable future based on gentler ways of living with more sharing, cooperation, focus on quality of life and the good of all society and planet as our guides. May we move away from focusing on the accumulation of wealth, economic growth and individual gain as our main guides and gods. They have proved to be false gods. Much like the ego, they don’t embrace the power and potential of the whole. -muse brad
Brenda refers to the ideas of Nate Hagen about our current situation. He believes that economic growth may be fading away due to over-consumption of resources, negative environmental impacts like climate change, and excess debt. He argues that we have maxed out on economic growth and resource consumption. She also sites a book by Tim Jackson who believes that we need to re-define prosperity as something that is more meaningful, less materialistic and less reliant on growth.
Japan gives us clues as to how we might face this new model of living. Despite little to no economic growth for two decades, Japan has adjusted and continued to bring quality of life to most of it’s citizens. Of course, it helps that they have a cultural bias toward living for the good of society. Brenda also quotes Junko Edahiro who suggests the need to live for happiness and higher purpose. A higher purpose that can replace the goals of personal gain and country economic growth with ones that benefit all.
As we evolve individually and collectively toward more holistic ways of living that include the good of each other and the planet, we will be inspired to design new and better ways of living sustainably. I’m game. Are you?
Here are two fun videos on whimsy to remind us the joy of creativity well applied.