Does it do any good for Africans suffering from drought if I reduce my personal water consumption? Why should I reduce the CO2 emissions and save energy? Does it reduce starvation anywhere in the world if I eat less?
Living in moderation is «out» because it seems to be full of deprivations and limitations. Read here why it is on the contrary rather full of opportunities for the personal development. It is an indispensable precondition to get in perpetual harmony, joy and (self-)confidence.
Global warming is a typical global phenomena, where the causer of the emission does not automatically suffer from it himself. Cause and effect are separated both in time as well as with regard to geography.
In the past, there was a more or less direct relation between the energy consumption (mainly fossil fuels) and the welfare of a country.
This makes it very difficult to reach consensus between the countries about the required steps to solve the problem. The Kyoto protocol shows that the following of the agreement will be doubtful at best if no automatic sanctions take into effect for countries violating it.
Given the severe consequences of global warming, the above sounds quite hopeless for our future. Read on to see how we all are involved in this and how we can benefit from taking our personal responsibility.
The more the better? or from maximation to optimisation
During the past years we have got used to increase our materialistic wealth in an impetuous speed. Lika a mighty fly-wheel the economical development took its course. You only had to take your seat and automatically got carried away. No wonder that questions about meaning and purpose of this development were ignored. Now as this fly-wheel turns slower and some people even prophesy its stop or backward turn, it's possible again to pose questions.
It's not long ago - our grandparents have still experienced this time - when every additional Dollar or Euro in the purse lead to a growth in life quality. In other words: Not long ago, more materialistic possession automatically ment an improvement in the life situation. Most of us have taken over this "the-more-the-better-principle" without thinking reflecting and follow it as a sheer habit. This is the only explanation, why even wealthy nations fall into a depressive mood, when the personal incomes suddenly don't rise any more or when the industrial turnovers and profits stagnate. We must find out for ourselves, if we could live a fortunate life with todays income respectively if we would need more materialistic wealth for that purpose. This question we should ask ourselves however, since from a certain level on, more materialistic wealth doesn't automatically mean more satisfaction and joy. Some time or other we will have enough to eat, enough clothing, an enough large home, enough jewelery, enough mobility etc.
It is naturally the free choice of every person as to whether he would like to develop further towards living the basic rights of existence. If he should affirm that he does, it is again entirely his choice as to how and when and in what way he should start this process. The free choice of everyone is respected but every one of us is also responsible for the consequences of his decision.
We do not see our environment and the events around us as «objective» or neutral (perceptive reality). Instead it is rather like looking through a pair of glasses, which determines our interpretation of a picture. I hold these glasses myself in front of my eyes. According to the way these glasses change what is really a neutral picture of an event, the picture makes us feel for example fear, joy, anger or it makes us sad. We feel the picture to be good or bad, negative or positive, meaningful or senseless, dark or light, correct or false.
There is yet another explanation as to why the basic rights of existence really have to be lived and that it is insufficient to simply not violate this law:
If we always have to watch out that we don’t violate the basic rights of existence in order to reach the permanent state of total harmony, we live in continual fear that we will violate the law in spite of trying not to. This would be a negative form of motivation: I learn swimming so that I don’t drown; I take part in a dancing course so that I don’t step on my dancing partner’s toes; I practise a musical instrument, so that I don’t produce wrong notes etc.
Figure 1: The pyramid of personal development
The pyramid represents the sense of harmony and unity within ourselves and with the environment to which we aspire. The individual building blocks of the pyramid are lessons we have already successfully completed, i.e. the ability we have already learned of how to live the basic rights of existence. As soon as the top of the pyramid has been built to the necessary height and the whole structure has been cleanly rendered the highest goal can be said to have been reached: The respective person is then in perpetual harmony with himself and his environment.