Sunday, November 2, 2008

The Election, The Media and Planning and Working for Better Lives.

Colombia, Mud
It’s Sunday night, less than two days before election day, and I’m antsy.

I’ve followed these campaigns for nineteen haircuts. In addition to listening to my barber every month, I’ve listened to and read hundreds of opinions on the various candidates. I’m ready to cast my vote and discover the outcomes.

With good friends who have strong opinions on both sides, I’ve paid careful attention to the messages coming from the media on this presidential race. If you’re a Republican, the New York Times, NBC and the like treat Obama as a savior and give him a free pass. If you’re a Democrat, your blood boils knowing most of our corporate leaders trust the Wall Street Journal and blindly listen to Fox, Dobbs and Limbaugh.

Either way, we’ve become too partisan and it doesn’t have to be that way—both sides have more in common than not. At the most basic level, we all want what’s necessary for a good life today. And a better life for our children and grandchildren.

So, let’s start with what’s necessary for life: fresh air to breathe, clean water to drink and soil to grow our food. In our quest for “growth,” we continue to think short-term and sacrifice all three. Why not plan for, and work towards, a day when we can again drink water straight from our rivers and eat fish from lakes? It shouldn’t be crazy to think we can eat real food grown with current sunshine and without chemicals.

Put a price on pollution and waste, and innovation will flourish. We move towards efficiency and then millions of new jobs transition us to an economy that becomes effective.

Why not look out a generation or two and set goals that enable us to spend more time with our families? Where we no longer work more hours so we can spend more...

For one hundred fifty years, growing the GDP meant better lives. “More” no longer means better. Why not demand the government work with us to improve quality of life? Why not measure success with a Gross National Happiness index like Bhutan (the Asian nation whose household income is a fraction of ours, but measure progress with life satisfaction)?

What does all this have to do with Green Sugar Press?

Not only is getting kids outdoors important for healthy childhood development, it’s critical for the well-being of life on the planet. The more time we spend connecting with the environment, starting with ‘nature nearby’ as an early learner, the easier it is to see how to make things better for all life.

To be continued…

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