The Three Key Paths: The Do-ers
Many in our society snort contemptuously upon hearing people are praying. They think it’s useless and consider it “doing nothing.” “You have to DO something,” they tell us. At this point in history we don’t have time to convert the disbelievers, they just need to have some constructive things to do [though I’ll plant the thought expressed by Charles Eisenstein in The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know is Possible, that often our rush to “doing” is ill-informed and at best maintains the status quo and at worst actually winds up causing harm]. See previous post on whether praying IS something.
A number of these People Power posts have explored the importance of “going local”. For that we need increasing numbers of people on the ground who are forming environmental justice groups, creating small-scale local manufacturing, growing organic healthy produce and finding ways to market it, building co-ops for banking, local businesses, health services, etc.
As long as a relatively small number of global corporations hold most of the wealth and mind-boggling amounts of power, environmental and humanitarian crises will become ever more rampant. To save the planet and to help ALL people to thrive we have to get out from under their control.
Two crucial steps are required to accomplish this. (1) Quit buying their stuff. Without profits we provide them, their power disappears. You vote with every dollar you spend. Pay attention to how you’re voting. (2) Since we will still need food, clothing, etc. we need local enterprises to provide us with goods and services and also to replace the jobs that will be lost as big corporations fail.
In Buddhism’s Eightfold Path, I think several branches apply here: Right Livelihood, Right Intent, and Right Action. The idea is that we do no harm and try to benefit others in everything we do. Obeying Right Livelihood means making money by only working for or investing in places that are also obeying the rules of Right Action, etc. Obeying Right Action means you make decisions about buying, selling, and what to do in life based on doing no harm and whenever you can helping others and/or the world. Right Intent means coming from a place of compassion and heartfulness in every step you take.
To me, there is no way to be in alignment with these paths while working for, investing in, or purchasing from major corporations that harm the environment, treat workers badly, produce harmful items, etc. A major path of doing therefore involves boycotting those companies and helping to create alternative means of employment and production that operate to bring health, thriving, and sustainability to all.
Another reminder of some new thinking on economics — the idea of a “Thrive Economy” instead of a Growth one, which I think will wind up reflecting the thought that much more needs to be local:
I’ve really been contemplating this and just in my own life I can see it’s very hard to boycott until local alternatives are more prevalent. I buy a lot from Amazon. I’d rather not do business with it. But most of what I buy is only available to me now in other equally yucky corporations. And to buy from those places I have to drive (environmentally bad as well) to parts of town I loathe, cope with the worst traffic areas, and wander around in overly big stores filled with largely unhappy people. Right now, Amazon’s free delivery wins.
I shop a fair amount at our local food co-op and also Trader Joe’s, which so far I consider to be a good company, and I need to do more with the local farmer’s market. But many other things I buy are simply not available as local goods. Much activity is needed to create viable manufacturing and marketplaces in local areas.
Environmentally speaking there are many actions do-ers can take. I keep touting Project Drawdown — there are many innovations that individuals or neighborhood groups could adopt and much inspiration for figuring out new ways to help. If that’s your main interest, plenty of things to do, starting with QUIT BUYING FROM GLOBAL CORPORATIONS.
For do-ers there are also contributions in the land of government and elections but that is for the third post in this concluding (or maybe not 🙂 ) series.
Okay do-ers, there’s your to-do list. Go forth!
Previous People Power posts;
- The Rambling Intro
- Truth, Lies, Myths, Manipulations
- Government, the Environment and Us
- The 2%, We Don’t Need ‘Em
- Create a New Business Model
- Deep in the Cultural Fabric
- Think Outside the Box
- Politics and changing the cultural base line
- People Power and Women
- Going Local with Water
- Climate, Our Part and the Elephants in the Room
- The three key paths
- The be-ers