Sustainably Sufficient begins here.
Declaring Yourself Sufficient
So what can must we do in the face of these seemingly overwhelming problems? What is the first step towards creating a new balance, a new world that works for everyone?
I suggest the gateway is simply declaring our selves sufficient to the task.
If I am sufficient, I can solve my own problems. If you are sufficient, I have a partner. If our lives are sufficient, we won’t need more than we can use.
If nations declare themselves sufficient, they can work together effectively for the benefit of their citizens and the world at large.
Scarcity and need - like learning to fly - are real problems to be solved. But those problems are completely distinct from the “view” of insufficiency most of us accept as true.
The two are only related in our minds – and echoed in our words.
Scarcity as a “view of reality” is a myth – not unlike the myth Columbus exposed when he discovered the Americas. To Europeans of that time, he didn’t simply discover the New World. He essentially created it, because it did not exist in the reality that existed for them before his voyage.
Today, we have the opportunity to create another “new world,” simply by understanding what becomes possible when human beings cooperate in a profound way.
The only thing holding us back is that we are live in an old pretense – one that our comparative wealth and power have allowed us to maintain well past the time it was useful.
Mindless consumption does not create happiness. Resources are not endless. Domination and control are not the secret to political stability. Those are tired ideas from the past and leading us - if not to destruction – then at least to a much sadder and less livable world for our children.
But there is also great hope that the threat we face will spur us to action. Our genius for innovation and cooperation appear again and again when our survival is threatened.
Almost always - in the end - we overcome the most daunting of challenges.
We have proven we can triumph over our past. Now, we know the world is not flat, that gravity can be overcome, that our inability to breathe under water does not have to limit our exploration of the oceans. But there was a time when all were universally seen as impossible.
The possibility of flight had to become real in the minds of man before the reality could follow. The same is true about the myth of scarcity. Until we can see that it is possible for the things we view as scarce to be abundant – we cannot address the real problems that exist.
So how does one create that new possibility?
It starts with a personal declaration. You don’t need to know how to generate something new to make it happen. You don’t even have to believe it is true.
You simply commit yourself to a world in which that possibility can emerge – open your mouth and begin to speak.
All the social movements of our time began as conversations. The civil rights movement, the women’s movement, the environmental movement; all arose because a small group of people raised their voices to create the possibility of a better life and a better world.
Every religion, political movement or enlightenment began the same way – when people experiencing an imbalance in their lives began to seek a more equitable and inspiring way to view reality.
I invite you to stand for the possibility that you are sufficient and whole just as you are. I encourage you to commit yourself to a world where food and money and love and cooperation and leadership and innovation are abundant – a world where there is enough of everything for everyone.
The first step in becoming sustainably sufficient is to step beyond your past and create a new balance in your own life, a new possibility, a new world you are creating with your words.
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For more on the subject of creating sufficiency, join us at the Global Sufficiency Network.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Sustainably Sufficient begins here.