This headline, Goodwill Doesn’t Want Your Broken Toaster, reminding me of my recent post that lines to dump worthless junk on Goodwill are often longer than the lines to buy it prompted me to post an idea I’ve had for a long time but for some reason haven’t posted.
Pollution on the Earth is obesity on our bodies, manifesting our values and behaviors in different places.
The pileup at Goodwill is fatty liver disease. Addictions to opioids are like diabetes, where we’ve lost our sense of value in material things so we seek reward elsewhere.
What Value in the Analogy?
We aren’t facing many problems in the world today. It may look like many, between climate, plastic, mercury, deforestation, political polarization, and so on. Nearly all are manifestations of our values.
Here’s a table from my book. It comes after explaining the differences between the values creating the pollution and obesity, which I call “old” since I plan to help lower them in priority in favor of those I call “new.” I believe the new ones would create more health, longevity, stability, community, happiness, and what most of us would consider a better life.
|Material and Population Growth||>||Personal Growth, Enjoying What You Have|
|Externalizing Costs||>||Stewardship, Personal Responsibility|
|Extracting Resources||>||Honor Nature with Humility and Service|
|Comfort and Convenience||>||Meaning, Purpose, the Satisfaction of a Job Well-Done|
What Can I Do About It?
A couple easy things. Stop feeling so fatalistic and helpless that your actions don’t matter and expecting that stewardship means deprivation and sacrifice. Stop buying things and you’ll learn you don’t need nearly any of what you used to buy. Stop lying to yourself about needing things. Don’t plan how you’ll replace them. You won’t die. You’ll figure out how to live that way. You’ll stop dwelling on what you gave up in favor of enjoying what you replace it with.
For example, after you cancel cable and you stop watching the TV, you may find yourself cooking more, taking singing or piano lessons, or exercising more. You’ll look at the TV with disgust, as well as the hell of your past life watching so much TV. Stop buying takeout and you’ll learn to cook vegetables. You won’t have to empty your garbage so much and feel like shit for polluting so needlessly and self-indulgently.
The result is freedom.
Read my weekly newsletter
On initiative, leadership, the environment, and burpees