Sunday, December 19, 2010
The Radical Act of Defining Enough For Yourself
System dynamics teaches that there is one way out of any arms race, be it the race to obtain security by stockpiling more weapons than your enemy or happiness by acquiring more stuff than your neighbor. Arms races loose their fuel as soon as one party stops participating. The enoughness race, and its relentless impact on the Earth, would slow if more and more people found a way to set their own definition of enough and live by it.
Easier said than done, as seems always to be the case for true leverage points.
But, after a weekend of simple pleasures, from cheering for 8th grade basketball players, to walking in quiet woods, from listening to Christmas music, to cooking good food, it seems to me that defining enough may not be as hard as we sometimes think. And, not long home from the most recent UN climate conference, a simple fundamental solution, like defining what is enough, seems like it just might accomplish what geo-engineering, carbon markets, and new technologies might not. It might help us create societies that recognize and embrace the reality that our beautiful planet is also finite.