Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Raising our standard of living....

The "economy" is being lauded as the major campaign issue that the candidates need to address. One of the prompts for this is the oft mentioned line that "this generation will be the first generation to not exceed the standards of their parent's generation." When I hear this, I think--that's not necessarily a bad thing.

Because our "standard of living" has come at a huge cost--our lives. We run around like chickens with our heads cut off as we chase after the next big purchase, bigger houses, bigger cars, more stuff, stuff, stuff. But as our stuff piles got bigger, our lives became smaller.

So, I would like to challenge people to think beyond the norm. Fixing the current economy requires us to stay in a consumption pattern that makes us all crazy! So, let's not fix it, let's not want to exceed the "stuff" level of the previous generation. Let's raise our standard of living by raising our "quality of life" instead of the quantity of stuff.

That's what Life Puzzle-making is all about--consciously creating our lives, instead of following along and doing what everyone else is doing. It means understanding the economic system and preparing for change. Here's an interesting talk by Peter Matthies and Jenny Barlow--discussing the economics of change and steps we can take now to "raise our standard of living" by changing our views of the economy.

We can make this choice--and in doing so, discover that a whole and dynamic life does not require massive quantities of stuff any more!

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