One City

One City


What makes us change?

posted by omphalina

One of my good friends may be losing her job due to lay-offs. She will find out in the next few weeks. She has said that if she just makes it through this (economic crisis) and pays off her debt, she is never going to go into debt again. She is going to start saving more money and spending less. To her, while the economic downturn may prove to be personally financially damaging, she feels like it is a good lesson learned. She hates the situation she is in, and is determined to not make the same mistakes again – she says she will never live beyond her means in the future.

This gets me thinking about consciously choosing to change one’s lifestyle vs. being forced to change one’s lifestyle. My friend is being forced to be financially responsible, more so than ever before. While everyone complained about rising gas prices, it made people drive less and look into buying more fuel efficient cars. Is raising a person’s awareness or consciousness enough? Or do people need to be forced to change?

Prof. Michael Maniates was interviewed for Miller-McClure magazine, where he argued that climate change and other environmental problems cannot be stopped through government edicts. Instead, he states that people must make real changes in their lifestyle and habits (shopping, driving, etc…) – changes that “must be substantive, not superficial symbols like recycling newspapers or switching to low-watt light bulbs.” And instead people must make “steep, absolute declines in per-capita consumption of oil, food, minerals, timber products, fresh water and other finite resources.” He argues that if you want to help the environment, you should think about : 1) Getting rid of your car, 2) consume only locally grown organic foods, and 3) stop buying stuff you don’t need.

How are these things going to happen? Should I be happy that people who I never thought would talk about buying less, are doing so now? Even if they make these changes now, will they keep it up once the economy improves?  Is there going to be a real sea change in people’s attitude towards never-ending consumption due to the economic downturn? Or does being forced to do something not as effective as consciously choosing to make a change?



Advertisement
Comments Post the First Comment »
post a comment

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the beliefnet.com terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to beliefnet.com and may be used by beliefnet.com in accordance with the agreements.



Previous Posts

More blogs to enjoy!!!
Thank you for visiting One City. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here are some other blogs you may also enjoy: Most Recent Buddhist Story By Beliefnet Most Recent Inspiration blog post Happy Reading!

posted 2:29:05pm Aug. 27, 2012 | read full post »

Mixing technology and practice
There were many more good sessions at the Wisdom 2.0 conference this weekend. The intention of the organizers is to post videos. I'll let you know when. Here are some of my notes from a second panel. How do we use modern, social media technologies — such as this blog — to both further o

posted 3:54:40pm May. 02, 2010 | read full post »

Wisdom 2.0
If a zen master were sitting next to the chief technical officer of Twitter, what would they talk about? That sounds like a hypothetical overheared at a bar in San Francisco. But this weekend I saw the very thing at Soren Gordhamer's Wisdom 2.0 conference — named after his book of the same nam

posted 1:43:19pm May. 01, 2010 | read full post »

The Buddha at Work - "All we are is dust in the wind, dude."
"The only true wisdom consists of knowing that you know nothing." - Alex Winter, as Bill S. Preston, Esq. in Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure"That's us, dude!" - Keanu Reeves, as Ted "Theodore" LoganWhoa! Excellent! I've had impermanence on my mind recently. I've talked about it her

posted 2:20:00pm Jan. 28, 2010 | read full post »

Sometimes You Find Enlightenment by Punching People in the Face
This week I'm curating a guest post from Jonathan Mead, a friend who inspires by living life on his own terms and sharing what he can with others.  To quote from Jonathan's own site, Illuminated Mind: "The reason for everything: To create a revolution based on authentic action. A social movemen

posted 12:32:23pm Jan. 27, 2010 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.