Valuing Life as the core of our economy
We need a new basis for our economy in the western world – there’s no doubt about that. Worshipping at the altar of the economic systems that place money as the only thing of value and which are set up to protect those who have the most money, is destroying us as a humanity and the home we live on, planet earth.
I am currently working in the abundant and ever giving setting of the Umbrian countryside and this provokes a deep sense of well-being, richness and resourcefulness that contrasts for me with the ‘poverty’ so present in many organisations in the world. Poverty because the focus is on survival and chasing the task, constantly being short of time…to make the elusive money or deal with the ever growing task list needed to survive. That vicious circle we all know and which seems to be getting even worse these days. An environment where people, human beings are not much more than machines to be pushed harder…anyone remember the sci-fi Matrix trilogy?
It’s time for us to get really serious about creating a new ‘economy’. The banking ‘scandal’ of 2007/8 and the many other economic, moral, ethical or governance crises that have come and gone since (and are still ongoing) are not shifting our consciousness fast enough.
For sure we have some very powerful and impressive changes:
- the work of the B Team soon to be chaired by Paul Polman (CEO of Unilever),
- myriad socially responsible organisations working from a completely different balanced scorecard foundation where people, planet and profit truly are being integrated
- growth in ‘teal’ or new era leaders and organisations focused on a deep sense of evolutionary purpose, multi-dimensional well-being and greater self determination
At one level we can see the need for a new economic system as a race between light and dark forces…the battle between those who, through fear or greed or both, want to keep the system exactly as it is and protect their power base and interests, and those who can see that there has to be a new system.
A wholesale change of systems is both extremely hard and at another level deeply simple. As Charles Eisenstein says so eloquently in his book Sacred Economy, we have to return to the principles of seeing the intrinsic and deep value in every atom of livingness (human and planetary) and as humans valuing both the gifts we have and the gifts we are able to share and exchange. If each of us, and especially those who have the power to make change happen which is more than we think, focus on sharing and gifting – power, talents, resources, respect, time…the list is endless – we can and will change the system.
For this we have to stop serving at the altar of profit and redefine our survival in another language – one based on love, appreciation, sharing, respect…all qualities present when we sit and contemplate the natural world – at least that’s my sense here deep in the heart of the Umbrian countryside.