– Heartwood Path Waypoint 40 –
Certitude & Development
Blend Moral Convictions With "Qualified" Growth
Altering behaviors and developing “improved” physical systems are matters of technology and science. These are important and worthwhile tools in the effort to protect Humanature. Two conditions are needed to go along with these tools, however: 1) a sense of what we want to do and 2) a sense of what we ought to do. The first condition falls in the realm of intentions. The second in the realm of ethics––where one finds the principles that guide behaviors in ways that cause the maximum amount of good for the maximum number of sentient beings. Both conditions fall in the realm of ideas—the thoughts that precede every revolution, every invention, and every transformation. Without changing the inner world of intentions and ethics the behaviors and physical systems we develop in the external world will likely end up being misguided, counter-productive, or inappropriate.
Information alone may not be enough to save the environment. “What is missing is the moral imperative, the conviction that assuring our own comfort at terrible cost to the future is not worthy of us as moral beings” (Moore and Nelson, 2010, p. xvi).
So it is, in part, our morality that calls us to environmental action. “No amount of factual information will tell us what we ought to do. For that, we need moral convictions . . .” (Moore and Nelson, 2010, p. xvii). Without certitude, there will be consequences, we will be failing in our duties as a species to avert harm to the earth, and we will fail to honor and celebrate our extraordinary world. There is not much factual data in this book because we as a species cannot rely on facts alone to guarantee environmental sustainability.
Nor can we rely solely on economic development to grow our way out of the global environmental predicament. Economic growth needs to be “qualified,” by which I mean it ought to be authorized through democratic responses and made to fit within a world that sustains a quality of life for present and future generations. Rapid, ill-conceived economic growth is a strain on the environment; and, since corporate, governmental, or military elite usually end up with most of the spoils, grosser national products often spur social strife. The real problem is not a lack of physical resources. The real problem is a decline in human spirit.
To fix this problem and the environmental predicament we do not need greater quantities. Instead, we need the development of greater qualities. By this I mean humans involved in making a difference need to change their way of seeing, understanding, and acting. Use the following activity to assess but not judge (by saying something is good or bad) the qualities of your life right now.
If this is not a day when you prefer to spend time in nature without an agenda, do the following activity:
Assessing Your Qualities
HumaNatureConnect Activity: Assessing Your Qualities. Go to a natural place, the wilder the better, find an attractive natural being, see if it retains its attractiveness for at least ten seconds, and, if so, use the good feeling you obtain from your outdoor setting or natural natural being to think clearly about the quality of your health, the quality of your relationships, the quality of your work, the qualities of life that your finances bring to you, the quality of your creativity, and the quality of your spiritual life. Simply make a mental assessment of your qualities by describing them without saying whether they are good or bad. Write about these in your journal and affirm that it is the qualities of your life that you will concern yourself with the most, leaving the counting to others. If you cannot think of the qualities to assess and write about, move on to the following activities for specifics and then come back.
Natural Systems Reflection Process
For best results, write down your impressions of this activity in your journal using as many of the following components as you see fit, afterwards, share your interpretations with others.
The Heartwood Path Exchange:
Swap Your Ideas, Impressions, Photos, And News With Others
Your input is vital. Enjoy sharing!
Heartwood Path Axioms: