Paxeducare’s Blog


Triple Bottom Line-What Price Our Future?
March 15, 2010, 3:58 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

DearFriends-here is the director’s column I have written for the new Spring Pax Educare newsletter. I welcome your thoughts and ideas on this. Happy Spring. Mary Lee Morrison

Spring is just around the corner and if you are like me, you are planning ahead for warmer weather. Perhaps if you are a gardener, you are imagining what flowers and vegetables you will plant, and you will, like so many of us have done since humans turned to agriculture, trust that nature will yield its bounty without so much as some watering and a little tender loving care. Isn’t it a miracle, the way we are fed by Mother Earth?  Would that life abundance in other areas could be had so easily.

Yet it is clear that our current global, agricultural production and consumption patterns are not creating natural balance, indeed that our very economic system, of which food production is so integral is, in fact, creating havoc with our environment, with our ability to produce human life satisfaction and our ability to believe that our future will be more positive than our past.  As our economic system is threatened, so also is our way of life. The most recent global economic fallout is, we are told by some experts, not to be the last in the near future.  Can we imagine another way?

I have come to agreement with those who believe that we are on the cusp of some real changes in “business as usual”, which will occur as the result of deep structural flaws in our system and will move forward through the visions of those who can clearly articulate another way.  As the economist Kenneth Boulding pointed out over 40 years ago, we no longer live in a world where we can create an infinite number of new products, mine our environment, then discard the remains, without worry for the future. Imagine, as Boulding did, “a spaceship earth”, a body that must take care what it takes in, what it reuses and, hopefully one which wastes very little. We are just a little earth in a vast universe.  Preserving what we have is our lifeline.

A paradigm shift is needed. Will we be ready? Our current economic system, with reliance on continued debt for growth, use of the traditional GNP to measure progress and the measure of wealth in new products is just not working. Environmental limits are placing limits on economic growth. Some economists and ecologists even wonder whether our current private enterprise system can be accommodated at all with what is needed for our continued existence. I find myself more and more in agreement with this point of view.  Change is needed.

We need to embrace new ideas of economics, a new paradigm, a new way of measuring progress, in human terms. This new paradigm, the beginnings of which are well thought out by some futurists and ecological economists, means that “smaller is better” and supports  local and community based business and investments, envisions reduced work time and increased family and community time to creating “real wealth” in human terms. We will see a return to the kind of values that embrace connections and nurturing relationships. More information on this new economic thinking can be found at the New Economics Institute www.neweconomicsinstitute.org and at http://www.hazelhenderson.com/editorials/politics_of_money.html

So where does education come in? We must be prepared to prepare the next generation to vision and imagine a world that we and they may not currently see in our narrow view. Real visions can lead to real solutions. Our moral task is to plant seeds. If you would like to share your ideas and your current endeavors to create a better world, please consider joining us on May 21 at the Lyceum in Hartford for a day long “learning institute” where visionary programs that are going on right now in our area will be highlighted. We will be convening about 30 folks to share what they are doing in a day long format. Come and share what you are doing to contribute to a more hopeful and interdependent world. For details, please get in touch. paxeducare@comcast.net  Mary Lee Morrison

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