In the wake of globalization and increased material wealth, individualism and capitalism have triumphed, worshipping GDP growth as the main indicator of global prosperity. As a result, many of us in live like there is no tomorrow, overshooting the Earth’s regeneration capacity earlier by the year. Advertising teaches us we need to consume in order to be happy. We behave as if we’re disconnected from the natural world, when in fact we depend on it. Our ego-centric mindset is to extract but give nothing back, to look away from human or natural disaster. This type of short-term focused, materialistic behavior has become an ideology in itself: consumerism. Our desire to consume ever more seems to be the overriding factor driving unsustainable behavior.
We can do so much better. In the Dutch town of Enkhuizen, it took more than 100 years for the 15&16th-century locals to construct a church tower that still amazes us today. When Europeans colonized North America, they encountered Native Americans who took decisions with the 7th generation’s interests in mind. The abolition of slavery was mainly achieved on grounds of empathy and morality, against the economic logic at the time. When people get inspired by a higher purpose, anything is possible. It is this type of long-term vision, persistence and determination we need to transform our communities, economies, ecosystems, buildings and our energy, transportation and nutritional systems.
It is time for a spiritual revival. The sustainable solutions we look for in the context of spirituality place long-term behavior and respect towards both our natural world as well as each other center stage.
Click here to see our solutions based on spiritual consciousness.
Picture: Polly Higgins advocates a new consciousness in the legal system by proposing that the Earth has rights