Taking advantage of simplicity
Today, I read a wonderful post by Sareli DeRaj on the topic of Stuff vs. Simplicity and how mankind’s obsession with stuff is taking us to the point of extinction. I have been struggling with how to effect change in this area as well by getting my kids to understand the importance of reducing our impact. We need to take advantage of simplicity before its too late.
For hundreds of generations, the focus of the “global” western world has been on progress for the sake of progress and the world – the Earth, the atmosphere, the people, the flora, the fauna – has suffered severely because of it. I say “global” western world because it isn’t just the Western world – Europe, the Americas – that is guilty of this. It may have taken longer for the Eastern world to catch up to our level of destruction, but they too have become part of the problem. And it must be said that the impact of what is going on the east – China, India – is going to have a far greater impact due to the massive population. This is a global phenomenon in which every country is to blame.
Stop pointing fingers and start doing something about it!
It has only been in the last few generations that we have started to realize the impact that we are having and how close we are to total destruction. Incredible advancements are taking place every day that have the potential to stop the destruction – if we are in time.
We are at a critical point in our history. I think it is extremely important to give our children the knowledge of what is happening and what can be done to fix it before we are gone. If they continue the negative trend, they are doomed. Some may say that this is a lot to put on the mind of a child. I say the minds of children are more powerful they those of adults and only by giving them the gift of knowledge of the reality of their world, will their imagination save them.
This isn’t about taking away their childhood and putting them to work solving the world’s problems. It is about exposing them to things that will have a lasting impact and spark them to do something good for the world.
Last week we watched the movie Home on YouTube.com. A non-profit film, it shows the devastation that we have caused in the world and gives a positive message of hope.
“The stakes are high for us and our children. Everyone should take part in the effort, and HOME has been conceived to take a message of mobilization out to every human being.”
Also, I am currently reading the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy to my boys and we just heard the story of the Golgafrichans (the useless third of the population of another planet) and how they crash landed on the Earth some 2 millions years ago. They set to work developing the things they knew on their native planet. The most striking example is that of currency. They immediately adopted the “leaf” as their currency because it made everyone exceedingly rich. Of course, the U.S. dollar – I mean the “leaf” – is so plentiful and is created so rapidly, that they quickly came to realize that it would take forests worth of leaves just to buy a peanut. Their solution? Set the forests on fire so that the value of the remaining leaves would increase. Problem solved! The trillion dollar infusion – I mean the fire – would have effects that last generations.
Our kids also understand that getting gifts on birthdays, while fun, is really not necessary, and it is more important to spend the time with family and friends. They do have toys – too many – but these days, they pay for the them out of their allowance. They have to plan and save. They have to make the right choices.
There are many things we can do to help our child leave less of a mark on the world and be inspired to make a positive difference. It is a necessity!
Researchers believe that within the next generation, if the trend continues, everything could come to an end.
In Danial Quinn’s book, the ‘Story of B’, he describes the growth of the human population like this (taken from Wikipedia):
“…World population began to double, first taking 2000 years; then taking 1600 years; and eventually only taking 200 years between 1700-1900 AD; then again between 1900-1960 AD [60 years]; and yet again between 1960-1996 AD [36 years].”
Only 15 years later, in 2011, we will hit 7 Billion people. 7 BILLION!! In the time it took me to write this post, the population of the world climbed by over 7,000 (see the World Clock) and the rate just continues to climb. The devastation of this population will be unstoppable if something isn’t done.
Researchers believe that within the next generation, the trend could be reversed, putting the world onto a path of lasting respect and enjoyment of our world.
I think it is possible. Even if it does take a Mind of Steel and a Heart of Gold* to make it happen.
* For those who have not read the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy (I highly recommend it and it is so much better the second time around) the Heart of Gold is the ship that the main characters travel in and it is responsible for some incredibly “improbable” events. “Nothing is impossible, just very improbable.”