This weekend, I did some research on the criteria for a sustainable society.
- that meets the needs of the present generation,
- that does not compromise the ability of future generations to meet their own needs,
- in which each individual has the opportunity to develop himself or herself in freedom, within a well-balanced society and in harmony with its surroundings.
Mahatma Gandhi once said, “Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s need, but not every man’s greed.” We must take no more from Nature than Nature can replenish. For example, a forest may take a thousand years to establish. Each year, it would produce a certain amount of resources, such as: food, medicine and wood. If our annual consumptions were confined to the amount the forest produced each year, we would be on sustainable footing. But we wanted much more, and to support our ever increasing demands, we cut down the entire forest. This is simply not sustainable.
In a sustainable society, everyone accepts the responsibility to seek harmony with other people and with Nature. Humanity must share with each other and care for the Earth. This means adopting lifestyles that respect and work within Nature’s boundaries. Many of us associate a sustainable lifestyle with sacrifice or compromise, but it needs not be. Sacrifices and compromises aren’t inspiring. We need to establish a vision of a happy, peaceful and abundant society. Doesn’t this sound more desirable? I will write about this in the next article. : )