Still Assuming the Ostrich Position

> The transition from abundance to scarcity in a commons requires a profound change of values. In abundance, personal interests and individualism are the keys to success and growth. In scarcity, the values necessary for survival are a paradox: It is in the best interests of each and every individual to put the interests of the whole society above his own; survival and stability are possible in no other way. Those who live in the common environment of the planet are now experiencing the transition from abundance to scarcity. The immediate challenge ahead is not physical limits to growth (which are nevertheless very real) but the challenges of a major… Read More

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The Importance of Buttons

Can you imagine life without buttons? There are times when neither Velcro or zippers will hold your clothes together. But do you ever think about buttons except when you struggle to button one? You should reflect on them from time to time because they are an essential tool that enables everyone to care for themselves. As you all should know by now, care is at the center of my path to flourishing. We flourish when we have acted to care for all the essential domains that made us human. Our flourishing is helped along by the care we receive from others. The kind of care I speak about is not… Read More

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Spreading Flourishing Around

Last week I spent a day in Cleveland with my colleagues on our spirituality in business project. Our collective thinking is being publishing very soon as *[Flourishing Enterprise: The New Spirit of Business](http://www.sup.org/book.cgi?id=23936)*. It has the same editor and publisher, Stanford University Press as my last book. It continues the effort to put the ideas in my books into play. The arguments here are closely tied to those in *Flourishing*.With this book, I seem to have found a magic formula for getting one’s ideas into print. I wrote the first one one, *Sustainability by Design*, my own. Then Andy Hoffman and I co-authored, Flourishing, and now I have joined eight… Read More

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Advice

A friend sent me this poem. I could never be so clear about what care is about. Advice by Lion Goodman An ink-black crow yelled at me, saying, Be responsible for everything: your life, and the lives of others. The war in Iraq, and children dying of starvation. Your neighbor’s happiness – and the Amazon rainforest. Your body’s health, and the community of elders in Tajikistan. The bacterial network in the soil, and the fungal mat beneath the roots of trees. The farm workers being slowly poisoned by pesticides, and the wilderness being stripped of its wildness. I complained loudly that I was not big enough to hold the whole… Read More

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Why Should We Care for Nature?

Alan Lightman wrote a short piece in the NYTimes, titled, our “Lonely Home in Nature,” in which he argues that “Nature” cares not a whit for us, so why should we care for it. Its actions are the result of natural phenomena, lacking any sense of intention unlike those of human beings. Our feelings toward and musings have absolutely no impact on what Mother Nature has in store for us. In our modern secular, disenchanted world, I think we take this pretty much for granted. Weber noted our coldness towards nature in his famous quote, “The fate of our times is characterized by rationalization and intellectualization and, above all, by… Read More

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Care, Connection, and Consciousness

I met with a class of Dartmouth undergraduates this week to discuss my book, which had been assigned to them in their environmental studies course. As part of the assignment, the Professor asked each to formulate a question for me and say why that question was important. Most of the questions accepted the major premises of Flourishing, but criticized the book for its lack of pathways to get there. Point accepted. I think the direction for action is there but I have been reluctant to spell out out detailed “solutions.” Giving answers is counter to the basic arguments I make against the application of expertise coming from “experts.” Flourishing arises… Read More

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