May 10, 2018 Common Good

Trading out “Growth” Consciousness for Abundance

We are now at the place where the experience of more and more people is that the institutional empire’s protection is disappearing. The so-called well-being and safety that the system provides are now reaching their limits. We see limits to the planet, to jobs, to our health, to our children. They come in the language of student debt, income inequality, lower than expected health measures, pockets of deep unemployment, concern for the environment, balance of payments, stalemated politicians, and wars without end. It’s clear that the idea— supported by all of our elected officials, business and activist leaders, and the media— is to try to get back on the market and system track. The answer is growth. Growth, growth, and more growth.  

In other words, we think that the force that took us to the limit is the solution. That what we need is more of a consumption-driven economy. Every public narrative is on that track, the track that led to the cliff. The free market consumer ideology has so captured our discourse that anybody who speaks of any other approach sounds like a nut. Especially in elected office.

Finding the right politicians, regardless of their beliefs, will make a difference, but only in limited ways. We will find the right politicians as soon as we have reclaimed own place in the wilderness. No need to worry about the politicians at this moment, because they are a product of our consciousness. We are creating them.

Take a moment and re-read the above quote and ask, where do I feel at the cliff? What are the products of my scarcity consciousness? Where am I made angry, excited, defeated or deflated by this assessment. Next take a step and ask, is there a way I can live differently in relationship to this Wilderness? How do my limits inform what is possible? Rather than seeing the an economic system that depends upon scarcity as a given, how might I see the wilderness as a place of new promise. What if there were no perfect growth model to return to but rather a freedom-of-mind to see the stranger and neighbor as a part of my own life and wellbeing?





Block, Peter; Brueggemann, Walter; McKnight, John. An Other Kingdom: Departing the Consumer Culture(pp. 31-32). Wiley. Kindle Edition.

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