FUTURE – What a beautiful wor(l)d…

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Do you remember when you where a child – when you woke up to a new fantastic day, every morning, when you looked around at all the marvels of our world…

“…I remember the first time, after a long and cold winter, when you could run around outside barefoot in the grass and the first experience of doing the same on a gravel road (ouch!!) – but also having played around for a whole day in the snow being so cold that you had to put your feet on the hot boiler for 20 minutes just to be able to untie your deep-frozen shoelaces – that tingling feeling when your toes return from “blueish” to a more natural colour…

…Eating strawberries directly from the garden behind my mother’s back – she was saving them to make jam – never being worried that they had been sprayed with weed poison – or drinking milk that had only travelled 30 meters from our barn, if you don’t include all the kilometres the cows had walked to graze on naturally fertilized fields…

…I remember when the local (20 km) grocery-store owner once every Thursday stopped in the yard with his car delivering groceries my mother had ordered over the phone – or when the dairy-truck left a package containing cheese and butter as a “part-payment” when they collected the milk-containers with fresh milk…

…Or when I, new flashlight in hand, on a dark and rainy night walked over to the neighbour to play monopoly with their kids, being a little scared of the dark – but only a little…

…I also remember the sometimes hard work as a teenager, helping out with all kinds of tasks on the farm – not expecting more payment than a safe upbringing and a chance to an equally good life…

How can anyone, being sane, rob today and tomorrow’s children of the opportunity…?

Over the past year I have written quite a few articles on the way people, politicians and corporations in our society, are “struggling hard” (?) to destroy our planet – I have tried to understand the “mechanisms” that, so consistently urge us to prioritize corporate or egoistic advantages even in favour of our continued existence on this planet…

But you know what – I still don’t get it… Somewhere all of us have been kids at some point in life – What is it that transform an innocent child to a “selfish, greedy, hyper-consumer”?

Setting examples for the Future…

Heritage What kind of role models are we to the future generations? It is truly amazing that “egoism” and “a free market” over the course of only a few decades has succeeded in creating role models and a lifestyle, so unsustainable that it is now threatening our survival…

…and it is even more amazing that although warning signs has been around for quite some time now – selfishness and greed is almost paralyzing many efforts to move in a more sustainable direction.

Being an optimist, I would like to believe that with increasing knowledge comes insight, but I’m not sure anymore…

Sometimes when I read about people claiming that what was written in some book thousands of years ago, or people claiming that amendments a couple of hundred years old gives them a historical right to kill a trespasser or in any way discriminate or suppress a fellow human being – while at the same time “cherry-picking” what they themselves believe is “rightfully theirs” – it really makes me sad…

And now that we are at, what could be the brinks of ecological, economical and societal collapse, some people still claim that we must have economic growth, continue as we have for the last decades – Do they truthfully believe that our planet “gives a Sh#@t” – that nature and physical laws somehow should adapt to foul human behaviour and economic greed…

I think they are in for a surprise

The problem is, that we are in this together – “If one goes, we all go!”.

The self-fulfilling loop – the “Perpetuum Mobile”…

It is probably a natural “human” behaviour to create processes safeguarding that what is once regarded a good thing, a good behaviour or good business should over time, evolve to become even better, smarter or more profitable in the future – so we create political systems and corporate processes doing just that. www.sorenandersson.com

If we then connect numerous of these processes in a “web” we get our current interactive society. But you know what – in many of these processes there is very little opportunity to challenge the process itself and even less to challenge it in a complex system such as our society – if we have started out wrong, one could almost claim that we have to continue to do wrong…

…so if we have a political system set up in a way that long term evolution and sustainability is disregarded in favour of short term gains or in favour of the opportunity to be in power for yet another mandate-period – that’s probably what we’ll continue to strive for…

…or if we base our prosperity on an abundance of cheap fossil energy, regardless of its emissions and negative effects – that is probably what we’ll continue to do…

Read more on the topic “Our Social Perpetuum Mobile” in this previous article – LINK

…we need a “Renewable Loop”, not a downward spiral into oblivion…

A Society made up of billions of individuals…

It is easy to blame “Society” for many of the bad things happening to our environment and our climate and of course it is right to do so, as long as you agree on this one:

A Society is made up of its citizens – if citizens will not change nor will Society…

… a version of the classic “Hen or the Egg problem”… Quite often when issues like these are discussed there is a call for “the right thing to do” which leads into “Ethics”.

To avoid this article becoming a discussion on Ethics as a topic by itself I found a couple of YouTube clips with Kirk O. Hansen, executive director of the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University, that explains it quite well,

       

and two sentences providing a brief explanation.

  • “Ethics is based on well-founded standards of what is right and wrong when it comes to human actions.”
  • “Ethics is strongly related to the process of thinking and developing ethical standards.”

www.sorenandersson.com - FutureCan you learn ethics? There are those who argue that training in ethics is meaningless and argues that either a person is ethical or not, that one cannot learn differently. This is an old debate. Even the ancient Greeks such as Socrates discussed ethics. His position was clear: Ethics involves knowing what to do, and so you can learn!

Most ethics scholars agree with Socrates.

So what does this lead to…

…as long as driving a big fossil-fuel powered car is regarded as some kind of “proof of success”…

…as long as excessive consumption equally is regarded and promoted as “proof of success”

…as long as people accept that it is fair that women earn considerably less doing the same job as men, or workers “enormously” less than CEO:s…

…as long as people in the rich parts of the world consider it a “rightful privilege” to exploit poorer people’s lives, health and opportunities to enrich themselves…

…as long as egoism and egotism is hailed as the “desirable lifestyle”…

… I suppose there will be no change? But remember Socrates – “Ethics involves knowing what to do, so you can learn

It’s not about any political or religious worldview, it’s about something much more profound than that – it’s about doing the right thing, making the right decisions, for the future – for Humanity!

Or as the legendary ocean researcher and TED Prize winner Sylvia Earle once said:

Once you know – there´s No excuse!

Watch and listen to Sylvia Earle talking about the future in this YouTube-clip:

To sum it all up:

… remember – once you were also a child!