Ask yourself whether these things matter to you:
- a house with decent structural integrity, and/or room/s for the inhabitant/s
- pieces of tech (or tools in whatever way you envision them) that enable your everyday life, like cars and consumer electronics
- a stable career that provides a steady stream of income
- the lifestyle that such “success” gives you
The current systems in place reward their “performers” with these, because they are tangible. We set ourselves to understand the physical first and foremost, and it will be like that for the foreseeable future of humanity. Naturally, people strive for these things because the rewards meet their basic needs, and then some.
On the contrary, it’s hard to think of other “fleeting” things when it doesn’t immediately relieve us of our hunger. On top of an empty stomach, who has the luxury to contemplate about others’ wellness? When debts pile up, who has the time to plan for collective emancipation, for radical responsibility?
When we are in our primal survival state, it’s natural to preserve ourself first.
As humans, though, we also have the responsibility to transcend our primal instincts, to build upon both the metaphysics and mistakes of our ancestors; to learn not just from the history, but also from the predictions however accurate. For generations we have continued to evolve, for better or for worse. We’re able to fast, despite feeling the pangs of hunger. We’re (still) capable of living in the simplest shelter we can think of, without having to worry about predators or weather. Some of us choose to forego the luxurious lifestyle because it doesn’t necessarily fulfill our beings.
So why can’t we all do that, especially if doing so makes us, humans, less of a destructive force against the planet?
- Why don’t we plan our lives so that we construct our homes that meet only our basic needs – and maybe a little some – without having to occupy an awful lot of space that could’ve been alotted for permaculture or other restorative gardening methods?
- Why don’t we grow our foods locally to drastically reduce the distance between farm and plate?
- Instead of working for some capitalist, why don’t we dedicate our effort in enriching the community we are in, to pay forward locally?
- Instead of obsessing over the corporate-dictated KPIs, why don’t we measure our success by the quality improved by our efforts in our society?
Didn’t they say that it’s better to leave this place better than we found it?