A 5-step Program for What Ails Us – Fifth Installment

Quickly empower youth to help create a new economy, not replicate the present one.

If we keep replicating our present economy, even with some improvements, we won’t be able to fix what ails us as a society.   And, almost all of us will suffer individually, as families and communities.   We’re in the midst of a collision course with the living systems that enable our lives.

On the flip side, the hopeful side, if we are able to quickly create a new, “green,” economy in balance with Earth’s living systems, we can avert much of the suffering ahead and create a world that’s beautiful, healthy, and worth living with and passing on.  And, the things we need to do create an “environmentally sustainable” economy can and should also be better for us as people.

Everyone needs to participate in this.   Everyone.  But, perhaps the biggest challenge and opportunity is in empowering youth to be a part of this generational calling and to quickly become the leaders that see it through.  That’s pretty much it in a nutshell.

Of course, it’s not that simple.   I believe that the 4 other steps I’ve outlined to address what ails us are pre-requisites for our being able to accomplish this 5th step.   Or, at least, we need to work towards them concurrently.  Those  4 steps are:

Step 1 –  Yes, No or Maybe – be proactively honest, clear and respectful with ourselves and each other

Step 2Slow down and simplify overall.

Step 3 Spend more time outside, mostly nearby, including more physical exertion and labor.

Step 4 – Help envision and create an economy based on human well-being directly, not on growth for its own sake as a proxy for well-being.

If we are going to empower youth to create a new economy, we need to be honest with them about the situation (how we fit in with living systems and the hard, but meaningful, work ahead).   We need to all slow down and focus in on our task (and show ourselves that a slower, simpler life will not kill us!).   We need to spend time outside together and discover the role that moving our bodies plays in accomplishing some significant part of what needs to be done.   And, we need to consider, together, what makes an economy in service of people rather than the other way around.    As we do these things, we’ll be able to provide young people the tools and outlooks to create a different world.

I’ll leave you with “Environmental Literacy and ALL Careers” – a blog that further explores the theme of empowering youth to create a new economy for themselves.

Let’s make the lens through which we view all education that of connecting environmental literacy and ALL Careers.