Quit with the Band-Aids, Change Lives and Work for Better

Or, Why I Don’t Ask for Donations…

“Green” concerns have been moving further into the mainstream of business, companies proclaim their sustainability and CSR (corporate social responsibility) engagement, the rich and famous create philanthropic foundations to address poverty and (other) human rights issues … and in all the excitement over the pretty Band-Aids, radical reason goes out the window.

Apart from radically, really living better, making better economies, bringing our lives into better alignment with our humanity as well as the ecological contexts that they are embedded in, however, there is no way forward.

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Realizing The Power In Our Own Hands

“It’s no good believing in somebody else
If you can’t believe in yourself
You give them the reason to take all the power and wealth”

(“Turn It Up” – Alan Parsons Project)

There is a very strange paradox of power about today.

Never before has such a large part of humanity lived so well, and in conditions that make it possible – if not essential – for those of us like that to make good use of the power we have been given. It’s not all good, after all. Continue reading “Realizing The Power In Our Own Hands”

Comfort Zone

Killer Comfort, Crazy Convenience…

Life is about the pursuit of happiness, the experience of it all, the rush that makes you truly feel alive… or is it?

Comfort Zone
Your Comfort Zone - and Where the Magic Happens (image making the rounds on Facebook)

Often enough, it looks as if we were all too happy to just settle for a bit of comfort. A cozy home, enough food, a little entertainment, a little excitement every now and then. Housework and jobs make for enough stress and drained energy, anyways.

Indeed, in looking at the big picture, it’s obvious that it takes both the intrepid explorers and “crazy” innovators, and the down-to-earth folks and “boring,” pedestrian people.
In fact, even the most conservative traditionalist probably has his/her passions that seem unconventional to at least some others, and even the most daring adventurer may want to come back to a comfortable home and hearth, sleep in his own bed and not in a bivouac.

We humans have an unfortunate tendency to overdo it, though – and the same way that so much of politics and economics is headed in a wrong direction by focusing near-exclusively on (GDP) growth and monetary profit, all too many lives and lifestyles are suffering from an exaggerated focus on comfort and convenience.

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In Your Life, In the World, You’re The One

Our stories shape the way we feel about our role in the world, the basic ideas we come to accept as the way the world functions. Hollywood makes dreams. Bollywood, maybe even more so. Fairy tales aren’t too different. Myths explained what the world was like and why it was like that, and not different.

Myths are still competing with each other and with reality, as when some try to argue that environmentalism had to be wrong because it was nothing more than a story of profligate consumption having to lead to a reckoning eventually, but also when different visions of the future are made to compete for followers.

There’s a problem, though.

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Personal Development, Not For Records, But For a New Better Normal

Many of the people who are hailed as great examples of personal development and have cult followings online, showing how life could be much better, how you could come to be great – like them – present their elevated status all through grand adventures, world travel and world records, knowledge of languages, and the like.

The world could use more people who don’t just give in to whatever is currently normal, but is quite the fluke if you take a long-term historical perspective. We could well use more ideas for how to take the best of modern living, and live it so that all the world could share that standard of living without the slightly problematic resource requirement it would have if it were based on current European, let alone American, consumption.

Unfortunately, the adventure-consuming, world-traveling, lifestyle business-supported way of life itself – even if it is lived out of a single bag of just a few possessions – is a high-consumption lifestyle in large part enabled only by an all-too-affluent (or wishing it were) part of the world. Thus, not the way forward. That’s not to say that it’s all bad. Continue reading “Personal Development, Not For Records, But For a New Better Normal”

Balance: Hard Work, Not Harmony and Rainbows

The most basic rule or guideline I keep returning to is the need for balance – and it seems to be the idea that’s easiest to misunderstand. It just sounds so new-age, compassionate, eco-friendly…slackline

Have you ever tried slacklining?

It’s a new sport, basically a modern, climber’s, version of tightrope walking (except it’s not a tight rope, it’s a slack line you try to balance on). It’s all about balance, literally – and walking has never seemed so difficult. Keeping your balance when your “ground” is shifting is more than a little difficult.

Now, that’s the balance we need when it comes to “the ecology of happiness.”

Continue reading “Balance: Hard Work, Not Harmony and Rainbows”