Best Bet

for a

Sustainable Future

The 20th Century witnessed several prescriptions for managing human activity. Fascism was rejected; Communism was unable to stand in competition with Capitalism; and the growth dependent system of Capitalism has now brought us to the point where the ecological balance of our planet is threatened.

Of the world views promoted in the last century, only the life-based ideals embodied by M.K. Gandhi have not been seriously applied. Perhaps, as we witness social malaise, face the problems of resource depletion and pollution, and start to recognize that perpetual growth can not solve all our problems, we might look again at the advice of this 20th Century luminary.

The following items outline the principles involved.

Joys 'R' Us a delightful article on Gandhi's vision for how the world could work for everyone.

Life-Based Purpose a 300 word summary.

In the Southern Indian State of Kerala, many of Gandhi's principle have found practical applications. The result is a population of 29 million people who, although they have a low income, similar to the rest of India, they have a level of education and life expectancy comparable to Europe's.

William Alexander spent time in Kerala to find out how they disprove the myth that it takes a high GDP to achieve well-being. His report is most enlightening.

Our lives can be enjoyed mostly within the realm of the things we can do with life, but there is an ongoing and lasting connection to the material world. To live we are dependent on the Air, Water, Earth and the Fire of the Sun. Perhaps you would join in a commitment to these Four Sacred Things.

The Right Amount Words are scarce in English to describe the converse to always wanting more. This article by Alan AtKisson looks at how we might describe the opportunity.

The following story provides a humorous explanation about why we haven't tried this less strenuous path.


One dark evening a man was on his hands and knees under a street light looking through the grass.

A pedestrian asked what he was looking for.

"The keys to my car." replied the man.

Having some time and feeling helpful, the pedestrian joined the man in his search.

After a while, with no success, the pedestrian asked: "Where were you when you lost your keys?"

"Over there by my car." the man gestured.

The pedestrian was puzzled. "Why are you looking for them here?"

The man without keys explained: "The light's better!"

A key reason that solutions to problems arising from perpetual material expansion are sought through more expansion, is the inertia of cultural entrenchment. We are familiar with the idea of economic growth and there is no question that the light of the media and those holding wealth and power shine more brightly on such solutions.

Herman Daly put it well: "The growth ideology is extremely attractive politically because it offers a solution to poverty without requiring the moral disciplines of sharing and population control."
More details around the Streetlight story.