The world is awash with information about the need to change.
And that’s fine as it goes — almost human you might say — but to where or what?
A better world stupid.
Better than this?
In what way?
…I’ll stop at that point because you can already see that without a question framed in and from the right context or at least one where the moral order isn’t growth, consumption, the trope of be all you can be or another JFDI exhortation, it’s very likely, almost guaranteed I’d say, that we’ll end up back where we started.
Instead, how about taking our cue from this pithy little enquiry:
How the hell did it get like this?
I know what you’re thinking. What’s the point in turning our gaze to the ooze of a former life, one replete with grief and angst?
Because we might understand that it hasn’t always been this way. And however Dickensian that might sound, from my purview, namely having had four great-grandparents alive up until the age of 14, I’m able to discern and opine upon the fact they didn’t or weren’t intent on standing on the bridge of the good ship ‘progress’ by dint of the fact that what they had wasn’t good enough. Indeed, if memory serves me, they already thought, by the time they got to the 1970s, that the world was already too fast, too big and too much of anything to be comfortable or comforting. Of course, they understood better than anyone that in escaping some of the worst work practices of the last 100 years, a paltry healthcare system and egregious class division, the world was a little less repressive but, nevertheless, I’m sure there was a big part of them that craved a simple or simpler life. (Don’t we all?)
Sadly, like so many older people (notice how I didn’t say elders, and that’s deliberate) they’re long since gone and any wisdom they might have imparted has been lost to the must-havery of my generation or certainly, it’s not the order of the day when it comes to the social media airwaves and the like. What do I mean? I mean we don’t cherish the fact that our ancestors lived a very different life to us, and whilst it’s conjecture, I’m almost certain that had we taken a leaf or two out of their books, we wouldn’t have been so quick to negate one life-style for another with such devastating consequences.
Then again, knowing how the human race has rushed forward absent a care in the world for the consequences of its actions, it’s just as likely that no matter how sustainably etc. the previous generation lived their lives, we were of the order where if we could have it now, we would. Remember the slogan: Greed is Good!
As to the rubric to this post, all I will say is this. You can talk up all you like Net Carbon Zero 2050, greening every component part of modern-day life and living with a little less but unless all of us, including or more especially our not so erstwhile role models, show a little more consumptive (i.e. growth) restraint and a lot more respect and tolerance for our animistic world, I’m sad to say that I don’t think we’ll have much time left to arrest the decline of the human race, who, let’s face it, are the most destructive species ever to roam the earth.
Anyhow, enough of my doom and misanthropic gloom. It’s Saturday, and I’ve places to go and people to see. Not really but it’s probably a good place to sign off for now.