Open Future Image Changing the Dream
In childhood we were told the importance of working hard and earning as much money as possible. Our expectation is to become richer and richer.
That dream isn't real. Isn't sensible. Isn't good for us.

The Indoctrination Process - I Have a Dream

Early Education

No matter where you live in the world, the process of teaching family, cultural and religious values is strongly entrenched. Every family, every society believes that it's own values are important and worth preserving. We are all taught, how to behave, and we all understand what "the dream" is, in the community we live in.

www link My family and community indoctrination informs me about who I am and my place in society, long before I enter secondary school. I grow up with a set of expectations about myself and my family members. I understand very early what sort of life my family expects me to lead. The easy thing, is to live up to those ideals.

Momey DreamHowever in a fast changing world the possibilities open to each of us, may not be in the window of opportunity we can see. Other children in other families and other cultures see entirely different things. Even in our own culture, new possibilities open up all the time; opportunities which in the beginning, may only be available to a few people. What you choose to do, will eventually make the difference in who you become. We are often told, "You can do anything!" However, that statement though well intended lacks reality.

Choosing What to Do

There is unavoidable conflict between competing ideals. Take for instance your most precious resource, your time. Time is your life. It's necessary to work, and to make or to earn a living, and to care for yourself and your family and to educate yourself. You need to engage in community activities, to join clubs and organisations. There's no perfect solution to how we do that. We often go through times when we over-allocate time to education, or to work, or the fitness training, or to having fun. There's a cost to our happiness and well-being if that goes on for too long.

www link At this level of thinking and decision making, the setting of objectives and the making of decisions can be open to discussion and joint action. This is one reason in Western societies that www link we put so much attention on the value of goal setting. In the context of this discussion we need more focus on the quality of the goal. If we choose our goals badly, as has commonly been the case in the past, our good intentions backfire on us, and do us harm.

A New Problem Set

In the 21st Century, we have some new problems to face. Given the Local File population of the world and intensity of human enterprise, we are altering the planet in significant ways. We are making the climate unstable, forcing the sea-level to rise and decreasing the diversity of other species on the Earth. The human aspiration to build a good business and the family fortune, is also the force destroying the planet. The quality of the entrepreneur that was once so admired, if misdirected, is now seen as a potential danger to us all. However, that same quality, the will to survive, the ability to persist, the strength of purpose, directed in the right way can save the planet and save the future of our families.

When we think about the environmental impact of our activities Local File the right number to think of is zero. It's like the tramper's rule for entering the bush. You come and go but you leave only footprints. We all need to live our lives more like that.

Rethinking the Growth Ideal

End of the  DreamWe have to abandon the idea that we can have more and more. We must live with he reality that we share a limited Earth, with 7 billion or 10 billion other people. The more of us, the less our share can be. Some people can be very wealthy only by using the share that others don't have. The perpetual growth idea promoted so strongly in the 20th century, can not any longer be supported. Continuing to grow www link the Gross Domestic Product, as a prime objective of governments everywhere, will destroy the Earth as an environment where humans can live. A growing GDP, is a stupid objective, a commitment to a suicide pact which will eventually destroy human life on Earth.

As in your personal life, we need to be careful what we dream of. If we choose the wrong dream, an inadequate objective, and we achieve what we set out to do, our success may easily destroy us. That is exactly what human kind is now doing in the pursuit of economic growth. We have a choice, to thrive or to perish, that is the question. If we choose to live, we have to find a new dream, worthy of who we really are.

There is a film "Hooked on Growth" newly released on DVD. It needs to be widely seen. Copies are available.