Little Steps are Giant Steps
Global business as usual is an environmental cataclysm waiting to happen. This sentiment is not an alarmist, left wing conspiracy to undermine democracy and capitalism. It is a verifiable, scientific observation. Our current trends have resulted in a steady deterioration of the earth’s biological infrastructure. The law of entropy states that an object in motion will remain in motion until acted upon by an outside force. If we do not drastically alter our behavior, our actions can only lead to greater and greater environmental deterioration.
Warning signs of impending doom are cropping up everywhere. We have scraped the seas clean of fish, our weather patters are becoming increasingly erratic, extremism is on the rise, and resource wars have become the norm. Signs that our economic model is flawed are also blatantly obvious. The entire global economy hangs by a thread dangled by a greedy investment banking industry, and our elected leaders spend trillions of our taxpayer dollars simply to prop up the failing status quo and continue to look at inadequate indicators such as GDP growth rates to assess the situation. We know the free trade, GDP growth dogma doesn’t work. We are living in the consequences of the failures of neoliberal unfettered capitalism. The more of the same solutions espoused by our global leaders is lunacy.
Nothing short of a revolution is required to save our species and planet earth. The task at hand seems daunting, but many of history’s greatest revolutions erupted spontaneously from the few small actions of individuals. Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus to a white person launching the civil rights revolution. In1776, Abigail Adams asked her husband to remember women’s voting rights in the formation of our new democracy. The consistent small steps of numerous women over the next 150 years finally succeeded in securing women’s suffrage in 1920. In 1962, Rachel Carson wrote a book entitled Silent Spring sparking the modern environmental movement. The small actions of average people have been the impetus behind the movements that have changed our world for the better.
In fact, the only way to make a change is to start taking action. Passivity is not an option. If we sit back and let those in power continue to dictate the course of history, nothing will change. Those in economic and political positions of authority have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo. The size and scale of the effort need not be monumental. Pennies saved faithfully over the course of a lifetime can add up to millions of dollars. Humble seeds planted in the spring yield bountiful harvests in the summer and fall. A child, properly nurtured and educated can grow up to change the course of history.
We must now create the world we want to live in. Most people would agree the ideal world would have an economic strategy that is fair and provides a living wage and adequate resources to sustain the lives of every human being. The new economy would also not consume resources faster than nature can replace them, would not produce pollutants in greater quantities than the environment’s ability to neutralize them and would allocate resources equitably among all earth’s organisms. Our new society would embrace diversity, both human and natural and eliminate the economic biases that allow a few people to exploit the rest of society and all creation for personal gain. We would lose the winner take all mentality that currently characterizes global predatory capitalism and replace it with an ethic of shared responsibility and community. Then we would create a political system where non-living, inanimate entities, such as corporations, have no place in determining the policies that impact people and other living things. Finally, our communities would be healed, people would reclaim their physical health, we would have clean water to drink, clean air to breathe, and families would once again be able to spend quality time together.
The action plan will be multifaceted. We must ensure that the population of the world is intellectually equipped to resolve the complex issues of the day. Real education must become an international imperative. Our current economic models are deeply flawed and cannot be remedied with more of the same misguided philosophies. The global economy will need to be completely overhauled in compliance with common sense and the laws of nature rather than in opposition to both. Our values of equality and justice must expand again to include all living things. Industry must change its production methodologies with an aim to first doing no harm to environmental or human health. The world has enough wealth right now to end poverty. It is immoral not to do so. Our cultural and spiritual values will need to transform so the words we speak match the actions we take.
Our actions must also match our wishes for the world we want to create. As Gandhi once noted, we must “be the change [we] want to see in the world.” Each and every person has within themselves a unique creativity, so the recommendations made in this text are simply suggestions based on the author’s own insights and passions. Ultimately, the great mass of humanity, once dedicated to the path of reform, will create novel individual contributions to solving the world’s problems. We must each use our passions and our gifts to select the path that is right for us. The spark of Sophia will guide us on our common journey.
Details to follow…