The Roots of Wastefulness in the Modern World

Have you ever wondered why is it so hard for homo sapiens to not be wasteful? Why does it seem that in every action we do there is a wasteful residue? How come nature has closed system loops yet the only modern closed loop we have is the shoelace? Let’s dive in.

Tom is a young man, a vegetarian by heart, and a supporter of all nature conservation initiatives. We are in the 21st century hence Tom lives in a city, takes public transportation whenever possible and bikes to work in his custom-made bike built with locally sourced products. He maintains good health and enjoys outdoor activities like nature walks, hiking and camping. Living in a city Tom has to financially sustain himself so he works as a UX designer for a start up.  He loves his job and is very happy with the choices he has made so far.

Now, Tom seems to have what every young man wants and the question becomes, what would Tom need to do to keep his healthy way of living? There are a few things that jump out. First Tom will need stability, which can mean different things for different people. Maybe buying property or having steady professional growth. Secondly, he will need to feel happy. This one is an interesting one as some people source happiness from personal goals like job promotions, achievements or contributions and others from travel or entertainment. Thirdly, Tom will naturally need love. Maybe human love or puppy love but either way Tom will need to feel loved. So, can Tom get these? Most likely.

The issue is not an inability to find these three dimensions of the phenomenal world but how we achieve these three states in the modern world. This is the root cause of our wastefulness. We all want stability that can serve as a basis to experience happiness and love, but how we develop stability dictates how wasteful we will become. So how can we achieve the right stability that will enable us to experience true happiness and love? Simply put, by understanding ourselves.

If we want to be stable and happy, it would be rational to spend time looking for the answers to questions like, why do we behave the way we do? Why do we get angry when we are hungry? Why do we need so many material things when they give us temporary joy that then transforms into stress and anxiety? Through the process of answering these questions we will develop key ingredients needed to cook our understanding of the natural world. Awareness, patience and conscious action just to name a few. The process will ignite curiosity of the marvelous world that exists in each of us. We will become less wasteful when we realize that we are the creator of our own world.

If we truly want to live in support of the planet Earth we need to find the determination to know our inner selves.

Our modern way of living is so detached from the natural world that it hinders our innate humanness.  Survival in the modern world requires a degree of ego and greed in order to meet basic human necessities: stability, happiness, and love. Why the need to financially grow? Grow towards what? We need to change this irrational thinking and it all starts by changing ourselves. We must shift our mindset to one that puts all sentient beings at its center.


Categories Journals, Sustainability, Travel

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