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The way most humans live today is not sustainable. It’s not really their fault as they are forced to participate in an unsustainable economic system based on infinite growth at the expense of the natural world. We need alternative ways of living that help us to live in balance with nature. Biomimicry, permaculture, urban farming, low carbon lifestyles and alternatives, and any other way we can live more sustainably are all valid topics for this category.ating a more sustainable world for our future generations.
Interbeing is one of many new paradigm stories that are emerging to help humanity transition away from its destructive phase. It goes even deeper than interdependence. It says that your being is necessary for my being, that I cannot exist without the rest of the web of life that I am connected to. It is contrary to the Story of Separation, which says that my being is separate from the rest of the world. For more on Interbeing, read here.
The future and the past don’t exist, yet they consume so much of our time in the form of worry and regret. In the present moment lies everything that makes life worth living. Beauty, love, gratitude, kindness, generosity all exist now. With a world so preoccupied with the future, it is no wonder why these virtues seem to be in short supply. No matter – we can tap into them anytime we refocus our energy on the eternal Now. Let’s focus on making each moment the best that it can be and let the rest take care of itself.
Living in the world today often requires us to play roles that often requires us to behave in ways that sometimes conflict with our passions or values. Many of us learn to wear a mask that helps us to play the role. Many of the roles we play in the earth-destroying economy are harmful to ourselves and the planet. While the roles serve a purpose, it is important that we not forget who we truly are and the gifts we have to give to the world. The world desperately needs authentic people pursuing their passions and gifts towards a better world for all.
Our current grow-or-die economy is the main culprit to many of the environmental and social crises we face today. We need alternatives that go far beyond any systems ever thought of previously – alternatives that are better capable of meeting the needs of its citizens while drastically reducing humanity’s environmental footprint. Alternative currencies, new economic concepts and theories, and ways of working together are all on the table.
When we take a close look at the crises of the world – whether they be climate, political, economic, interpersonal, social, or cultural – we will find buried deep underneath them some faulty thinking. This faulty thinking is usually based on an obsolete story that is no longer serving us well. Part of this transition to a more sustainable society involves questioning some of the fundamental assumptions we make about ourselves and our relationship to the world around us. When we are open and receptive, we give a new world a chance to be born.
Stories have power over our lives. Many of us will cling to a destructive story because it is all we know. But we must be able to loosen the grip of these stories that no longer serve us well. While shaming a person is never a good idea, shaming an idea can help that idea to become less popular. What if instead of putting the most wealthy people on the covers of magazines, we put the people who did the most good for the world on them?
We have built a global society based on the faulty thinking that humanity is separate from Nature, when in fact we are part of the broader web of life that keeps it thriving on this planet. We need to re-examine our values and assumptions about the world and each other and align them with wisdom from new stories that help us to live from the knowledge that everything is fundamentally connected to everything else.
Life is a gift. No one earned their life. We didn’t earn the sun; we didn’t earn the land; we didn’t earn the water or a planet with so many varieties of food to enjoy. All of it is a gift. And the proper response to receiving a gift is gratitude and the desire to give back. We have created an economy that has turned these gifts into commodities that we must buy, causing many of us to lose sight of the fact that life is a gift. When we live from this knowledge globally, our attention will turn away from the Story of Separation and towards the Story of Interbeing.
The society in which we live is based on unsustainable values like ruthless competition, greed, consumption, and hierarchy. These are values that Nature holds in very low regard. A sustainable society must be built on sustainable values – values like love, empathy, cooperation, equity, trust, gratitude – realizing that when one suffers, the whole also suffers.
The dominant story about animals is that they are lesser beings, incapable of experiencing emotion, culture, loss, or joy. Those of us with pets know this is completely untrue, yet this pervasive belief is what enables us to institutionalize animal culture. When we tell and share stories about animal’s intelligence, compassion, or any other emotional experience, we disrupt the mainstream narrative and make it a little bit harder to continue inhumane practices.
We are Nature. It is important we not forget that. We need to see the inherent wisdom and beauty of the natural world, study how and why it works, and create human systems that mimic and integrate with it. We learned to fly by watching the birds. We learned to swim by watching the fish. So we must learn to be sustainable by observing how the rest of Nature and the animal kingdom operates by leaving no waste and taking only what you need thus ensuring that every being has enough to not only survive by thrive.
The world we have inherited is soul-crushing. To function in this world is no easy feat. The lack of concern, isolation, and loneliness that is epidemic in society can lead anyone to lose their mind (and if they don’t lose that, they may lose their soul). Almost all of us live with PTSD caused from economic scarcity (of money or time). Many of us need to heal from the trauma we have experienced and transform ourselves in order to become fully connected beings operating from gratitude.
This world can beat you down. Sometimes, it can make you give up and not even want to try. We have every motivation to want to hunker down with our loved ones and protect them. But if those of us who are aware of the issues do this, we know it is only a matter of time before our individual lives become unsustainable as well. We must empower each other to use our unique talents and gifts towards creating a more sustainable world for our future generations.
Activism plays an important role in fighting against the destruction of the earth-destroying and soul-crushing economy that seeks to turn every last natural resource into a product for sale. But it is important to remember that if we want to create a new society, the way we protest matters. We cannot use the same forceful tactics that the powers that be use. To do so easily fits within their narrative. Instead, our methods must include non-violence and inclusion. We can’t simply overthrow the 1%. Then a new 1% will take their place. We must create the 100%.
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