Alarm Bells: Issues, Conclusions, Solutions

Posted on 31 December 2016

Here are the issues:

  • We have a world obsessed with status.
  • We have limited resources.
  • In the search for status we are depleting those resources.
  • The act of depleting those resources is damaging our biosphere.
  • The system of status is causing a greater divide between the haves and have nots, with a steep increase in have-nots.
  • The have-nots are equally critical to the effort of rescuing ourselves and our planet.
  • We should include in the have-not category all living beings that are being subjugated, used, abused, and wiped out in massive acts of genocide.
  • These circumstances are creating incredible suffering in the world that no one can escape, and the suffering is only going to increase as things stand.

Here are some conclusions:

  • We have to take bold and deliberate actions fast.
  • Panicking, taking desperate measures, running with half-baked solutions are all likely to cause more damage and/or slow the process of change down.
  • Palliative action alone isn’t going to cut it. We have to get at the root of our problems. For example giving the poor a little bread rather than eliminating poverty keeps a broken system in place.
  • No change is going to work without the participation of all peoples. Otherwise that change is going to be resisted until it disappears. Also, we don’t know where vital solutions may appear and would be foolish to dismiss solutions that come from unexpected quarters.
  • Avoiding change will eventually bring change in its most disastrous form.
  • Change when it is easy, not when you have lost all means to determine its shape and have no way to lessen the suffering.
  • Change not just the forms but the culture, values, and priorities that are needed to support those forms. Otherwise, we are swimming upstream and eventually the current will wash us back down our previous direction.

Here are some solutions:

  • We have to let go of status-seeking.
  • We have to learn how to cooperate.
  • We have to learn how to share.
  • We have to renew our capacity to listen to and care about others both human and non-human.
  • We have to learn how to do with less. This is not the same as doing with nothing or living in poverty. Several houses sharing a high-quality lawnmover is an example of doing with less.
  • We have to find the courage to change.
  • We have to teach people how to be pro-active rather than complacent, and how to be interdependent rather than codependent.
  • We must separate work from a living. Everyone is provided a living.
  • We must de-emphasize the value of work, and re-emphasize service. If work is ennobling, is it noble when someone takes up a job as a hitman? When a woman freely nurtures a baby, that’s service and that’s invaluable and should be supported and held in high esteem.
  • We must rely less on leaders and rely more on a nurtured collective wisdom.
  • We must walk our talk: action expresses priorities.
  • We must broaden our focus and honor the diversity of wisdom in the world that can come from many different types of peoples in many different endeavours, and from many different sorts of living beings.
  • It’s critcal we include as much of life as possible in our solutions. All life is key to our survival and is deserving of our consideration and respect.

Peace and kindness,



CC BY SA 2.0 Siddarth P. Raj

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