Saving the world
What a big word: ‘World’. For us tiny humans, it seems so daunting, endless and eternal. We now know it is not. But truth be told, none of us seems to be able to divorce ourselves from wanting more. It is animal. Our ancestors did not have enough so they were programmed to always seek. Now that we have more than we need, we cannot seem to deprogram ourselves. I know what I’m talking about, I’m one of those humans. I have more than I need, I know I do. I have more ‘stuff’ than my neighbor, so to speak. I have a great place to live, an awesome family, and yet I want more. I don’t necessarily want excess, I definitely do not want to be a gazillionaire, but there’s always that little extra we all want. It might be something as simple as paying one’s bills at the end of each month. Regardless, it’s more.
The problem is that countries and companies, being extensions of our human vision, act the same way. The richest countries, the biggest corporations want more. Not only that, they are pushed to want more. Apple is already huge, they are successful beyond belief, and yet a micro dip in sales or earnings and the stock market goes into a frenzy.
So how do we change this? The pessimist in me says that we cannot. The optimist in me is alarming in that I think I know what will happen (shameless plug for my book The Critical Century). What will happen is a catastrophe that will bring us all together. It might be a pandemic, it might be through climate change or it might be some demented lunatic pressing a red button. Regardless, it seems that 9/11, WWII, or Spanish Flu type moments are the ones that bring us together.
In the meantime, as we all struggle to be better people, let me leave you with one thought: imagine if at every McDonald’s in the world, just one person would throw away one less napkin. That would be over 20,000 napkins less, per day, manufactured just to be thrown away. If you go through 5 napkins a day at home per person, that’s enough napkins to last you 14 years! We’re definitely not great at saving the planet; sorry, the World!