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Could This Blog Post Save The World? (09/08/2020)
Of course, I'm being silly with such a title. But imagine if it were true? A single idea can change the entire trajectory of one's life, from a tragic end in oblivion towards a life in the eternal.
This idea may not even be apparent, the furthest thing from one's mind. For example, collectively, we seem to be on the brink of death. There is talk of a global pandemic, civil unrest, a faltering world economy, natural disasters, genocide, and so forth.
However, our life can only go so far until we realize that hope is the only option.
In this hope I have found that there is a plan infinitely greater than myself alone, and I am humbled to play a minor part in it. I encourage you to find your own place within that plan, so I say this with the utmost sincerity:
No matter what you imagine yourself to be, you personally play a vital and irreplacable role within the Universe. Your life has immeasurable value and purpose. You contribute something no one else can because you are uniquely you! You are not merely a cog in a machine.
And if no one has ever told you this before, then please let it be me:
You are loved, and I truly care about your success. Do not let your constructive dreams be killed off before they ever have a chance to grow. If we are dilligent in tending to them, they will bear fruit that can feed a multitude.
We need little to survive, but we may sometimes be disconnected from what we truly need. To paraphrase a saying that I once heard: "We spend our lives trading time for money and still end up broke."
Human relationships and the sharing of knowledge are much more important than any amount of money. In fact, it is these things that allow us to become wealthy in the first place. Another popular saying that reflects this understanding is: "If you give a person a fish, then you feed them for a day. If you teach a person to fish, then you feed them for a lifetime."
But here is a question, what if a person is about to die from starvation and you have a fish to spare? Will you keep it from them only because you assume that they are "lazy"? Now, what if that person was also a friend. Can you watch a friend die when you have the means to prevent it? Let's share this meal.
While it may not seem like it sometimes, Nature is not a struggle for the "survival of the fittest". Nature collaborates to wax abundant. Likewise, Nature does not proceed by trial-and-error, but follows a definite order. We have developed alturism for a reason, and when we act upon it enough, the scales fall from our eyes and we can clearly see the true Love that permeates our reality.
Our most primary needs, the very things without which we would die (like clean air and water, healthy food, protective clothing, and safe shelter), all of them are ultimately provided for by Nature. People have also worked together throughout time to augment these processes in various ways towards the benefit of all. In other words, when we work with Nature and with each other we continue as a species. We can be good stewards of the Earth and co-exist peacefully as one human family! We have spoken about this subject many times before, but we want to emphasize an important point:
Money is exchanged for housing, utilities, and groceries. It is easy to see how these things are connected to our primary needs. It is also easy to see that the systems that currently distribute these resources are inefficient. We still have people who are homeless, starving, and do not have access to basic necessities. Worse still, we often waste and pollute what we do have. How can these two things exist in juxtoposition to one another? They can't. The truth is, the dam is about to burst and I want everyone to be clear of the flood waters. However, I alone am nothing. This is something that we must work together on because it involves all of us, none excluded. No single person or group will ever have "all of the answers", and we should be especially wary of anyone who would ever claim such. No one is above or below another when all are equal.
This task will require every single person's knowledge and skills. It is not simply an issue of one group being "consumers" and the other "producers", nor is it solved merely by taking from those who "have" and giving it to those who "have not". Such overgeneralizations mask what the real circumstances are, and pointing the finger won't fix it.
A good place to start is with the idea of greed, of attempting to control and to horde. All greed is motivated by fear and rationalized into continuing through hatred. Fear and hatred have never served us, so it is easy to let them go. An all-consuming caring and gentleness can arise from deep within to fill that space. Operating from this foundation will show us that there are opportunities for growth within every aspect of our day-to-day lives. Let's explore some examples together...
• It can take anywhere from 4.8 liters (~1.3 gallons) to 13 liters (~3.4 gallons) to flush a toilet once, but a human being needs 20 liters (~5.3 gallons) per day to survive normally (including the water needed for basic food and hygiene). Many people across the world do not have access to this.
Of course, depending upon the circumstances, the water going into the toilet is not always 100% "potable" (or drinkable) water. However, our "waste" should never be poisoning our own water supply in any amount when it can be used to create rich soil when handled properly. This does not have to take a lot of effort either.
We are not separate from each other or our environment. We can share our water, and we can use our "wastes" to nourish plants that help to provide us with clean air, healthy food, and other vital resources.
• Every person is responsible for recycling, including the people who operate businesses. But what if we didn't generate "trash" to begin with? This could be possible if we started using only sustainable alternatives for the packaging of products. There are styrofoam-like pads made out of "mycelium" (or mushrooms), super strong "hemp plastics", and papers with seeds embedded within their structure. All of these options can be designed to be biodegradable and to work together! Imagine a garden or forest springing up everywhere there was a garbage dump? Or how about a world where people were not fined, but encouraged to "litter" because it would actually make the environment more beautiful, providing homes for animals and yielding an abundance of even more useful resources?
Oftentimes, people are unlikely to adopt a behavior, no matter how constructive, if it is not also easy for them to do. Fortunately, convenience does not have to come at the cost of our health, safety, and well-being. We just have to rearrange what we are doing now, directing it towards life and growth, not death and decay.
• Ironically, some items that are intended to be "disposable" (like the plastic "clam-shell" that currently encases many electronic products), last longer than the lifecycle of the product itself. "Planned obsolescence", when products are essentially "designed to fail" so that one is forced to replace them, is an incredible waste of energy, time, and resources. This is especially true for electronics, where people will often throw away old devices to get the latest iteration. Not to mention that the "e-waste" that results from this trend is particularly toxic.
Let's design devices that are complely modular and can be easily repaired whenever necessary. Further, materials like the "hemp plastic" referred to above, can be used for nearly every part within it. If something does end up in a landfill, then at the very least, it will be less poisonous to everyone.
There is a concept called "seventh generation", which is attempting to account for the effects that a process may have on several generations after us. Through foresight, we can make things that are strong enough to last, but flexible enough to grow. The myopic point of view, which focuses more on short-term "profits" rather than long-term human sustainment, is blind to the dangers that it causes. The state of civilization hangs in the balance.
• "Light pipes", tube-like structures which direct sunlight into buildings through their reflective surfaces, are a good source of lighting. Like skylights and windows, they allow rooms to be illuminated throughout the day. Some homemade versions can also be very cheap to make.
Imagine if every room of every building got most of its daytime lighting directly from the sun, and electronic lighting powered on by itself whenever a sensor determined that the indoor light levels were low. And further, what if all of that electric lighting was powered by solar panels that stored energy throughout the day? Lights could still be turned off and on, or dimmed with a switch, but a small and self-sustaining loop of efficent lighting that requires little conscious thought could be created.
"Photovoltaics" (or the generation of electricity from light) are an interesting technology. There are "solar trackers" that follow the movement of the sun to maximize the amount of light they get, "solar paint" that simultaneously generates energy and produces hydrogen fuel from ambient mositure in the air, "3D solar cells" that can take in a broader specturm of light so that they can work when it is cloudy, and solar cells that mimic plant leaves and are "self-healing".
There are also many other interesting ways of generating energy from the environment, such as from the movement of the wind and changes in temperature.
Every device can be designed in such a way that it does not need to be plugged into a grid because the power is generated right when and where it is needed. Further, it can be made to adapt itself to the characteristics of the environment that it is in, working with its surroundings, not against them.
• The famous architect Buckminster Fuller coined the term "ephemeralization", which means to continuously learn how to do ever more with ever less. An incredibly beautiful example of this principle in action is his "Dymaxion House".
The Dymaxion House has many interesting features. For example, the entire bathroom is a single piece of molded plastic that can be sprayed down for easy cleaning. It also contains a kind of "fog gun" that allows one to take a shower with only a pint of water.
The term "dymaxion" is a "portmaneau" (or combination) of the words "dynamic", "maximum", and "tension". This is due to the fact that it was made from aircraft aluminum supported by a system of tension cables. The reasoning behind this design is three-fold:
1. The material is lightweight, durable, and the pieces combine in a way that it allows it to flex, so that it remains stable in high winds.
2. The entire house can be easily disassembled and reassembled in order to quickly change its layout, or to move it to another location entirely.
3. The manufacturing could be handled by companies that already exist. For example, rather than building bomber jets, we can build housing. Or as Buckminster might say, we should make "livingry" (i.e.: life-affirming technology), instead of "killingry" (i.e.: weaponry intended to harm).
In addition to the reduction of waste and the reusing of materials through recycling, we can repurpose "old" items, giving them entirely "new" functions. This applies to more than just the design of our devices, but also to the design of our organizations. All of the organizations in existence are capable of contributing to our collective harmony. However, the ideologies that motivate them, and the methods by which they carry them out, are undergoing a complete transformation.
• The genie of automation will not return to its bottle. Rather than see it as the end of "jobs", let us interpret it as the beginning of freedom.
I have an incredibly high respect for farmers, factory workers, tradespeople, and service providers of all kinds. But everyone's time and effort is priceless. If we automate all work, then we do not have to toil, only maintain.
Imagine everything needed for a comfortable life is provided to everyone! The theivery that occurs in all aspects of society hides behind the idea of scarcity, but "scarcity" is only a phantasm that haunts the halls of an empty mind.
Our minds are not empty. They are filled with constructive possibilities. In turn, our hearts overflow with joy, and our hands act to carefully manifest them.
Thank you for reading! ♥
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