Imagine the world without anger, without greed. We have the power, the tools, the skills and the resources right now to build a peaceful world, where people live in harmony with the Earth and each other. This blog explores ways we are doing just that, one post, one change, one day at a time. Join me. Tell your stories. Ask for help. Spread your ideas for making the vision real and, well, ordinary.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Can you imagine living in a world that is just, sustainable, and fulfilling?

FOUR YEARS. GO.The year is 2014. A major shift has occurred, transforming life as we know it. Today, the world is on track like never before toward supporting a just, sustainable and fulfilling life for all. Those three things. What is your every day like in this new world?

I've been wrestling with this question since becoming involved with Four Years.Go., the campaign to create a shift, in four short years, that will set the world on a track toward a just, sustainable and fulfilling world for all. The question many of us are asking each other, as we work toward this goal is: What will the world be like in four years if we have achieved this shift?

So I'm asking you. There are lots of ways to answer the question. We can start by answering other questions. What would a typical day in your life be like if you were living sustainably, if world leaders, national leaders in every country, and individuals everywhere were working toward justice for all, and if your own life were completely fulfilling?

What would you have to do between now and December 31, 2014, to achieve these goals in your life and to help achieve them in the world? Would it be worth it to you to begin today? What first steps would you take? What next steps would you plan for, and when would you be ready to take them?

We make peace in a million small ways every day.
All text and images, unless otherwise noted, copyright L. Kathryn Grace. All rights reserved.


Hayden said...

Lets see, I'd have to convert my car, tractor & Gator to biodiesel, (cost unknown) spend $200,000 to retrofit my house to Passive House standards and another $20,000 to add the small temp regulator plus solar.

Fullfillment? That's a tall order for political change. Seems to me that smoothing out the playing field, establishing sustainable soil that's capable of producing nutritious food, sustainable energy, basic fairness - all of these things are critical.

But at the core they simply move all of the clutter of modern life out of the way and make possibilities easier to uncover.

Finding fullfillment is an act of the human spirit /soul, and something each person must do for themselves. I fear that for many, getting rid of the obstacles will simply eliminate their excuses. Their own fears will continue to hold them hostage and keep them from seeking internal change that will lead to their own fullfillment.

BUT - that's not to say I don't support the goals, I absolutely do. They are a necessary first step.

Maybe you can tell us more about the organizations smaller goals, the "hows" some of this will be accomplished. How will farmers be convinced and TAUGHT to implement the necessary changes? The extension system isn't ready, and their neighbors/previous experience won't help get them there.

Sustainable energy - how does that work? Are you trying for change at the top level, with elimination of coal, minimization of hydro, etc? Is the electricity distributed by the grid going to be so clean that I don't need to retrofit my house?

I'm in favor of the goals, but I don't see how the huge infrastructural changes can be implemented so quickly. Can you share more?

Hayden said...

oh, yeah, the goal says "complete fullfillment" - so toss in a male life-partner of roughly my age or up to 10 yrs younger. (older need not apply.) Must be: sexy, in good health, supportive of shamanism, well read and willing to make sustainable living part of his life goals. Preference given to candidates who are 6' and up, strong.

kario said...

Thanks for asking the tough questions! They continue to challenge me to work harder every day to find ways to live peacefully within this world rather than assuming it belongs to me.

Kathryn Grace said...

Hayden, thank you for taking time to answer so thoughtfully, and for raising excellent questions, questions we at Four Years.Go. ask ourselves every day. How will we know we've accomplished our task, for one.

The key here is that the campaign's goals are to create a shift--achieve critical mass--that sets the world on a track to achieve those goals. Not that we can all achieve them in just four years, but that so many of us will be working on the problems, solving them, that a transformational shift will have occurred.

The important thing to remember is that right now Four Years.Go. is a conversation. That's right. At this stage, the campaign is asking folks to talk about the issues, talk about the problems, and talk about solutions. Put our collective energies and ideas to work for us. That's the beginning. Define. Identify. Understand. Clarify. Create. Solve. Move.

I like your thinking, Hayden: Retrofitting your house to passive energy use, converting your vehicles to biodiesel, and I get this is a bit tongue in cheek. True, almost no one can invest $200,000 to retrofit their house and vehicles. One question for us in this first year and half may be: What can we do individually, as a community, as a nation to halve our energy use while improving quality of life by 2014? We'll set the goals, them break them into manageable bits that CAN be achieved, so that by December 2014, we will be able to see the possibilities better than ever before. And we'll have a heck of a good road map for getting us there.

Currently, the campaign focuses on organizations who are already on the ground doing the work. They have the expertise; they know what needs to be done, what resources they need. As of this morning, more than a thousand organizations, many of them well known, have joined the campaign. Each of them have made a commitment to reexamine their goals and priorities with an eye to achieving this overarching objective of creating the shift by close of 2014. Rather than look at 2050 to eliminate hunger, for example, basic needs orgs are looking at ways to step up the process. Similarly, human rights workers are reframing their goals to meet this challenge in their respective arenas. Others working to educate children and women or lower carbon emissions are doing the same.

Four Years.Go. asks these orgs what they need to meet their objectives, and we intend to help them find those resources.

The campaign has focused less on individuals, but that is changing, and I'm involved in that part. I put my energies there because all our little bits add up to huge problems or huge solutions. Nearly 3500 individuals have made personal commmitments to work toward the 2014 goals. Their commitments range from simple beginnings such as installing a water filter on their kitchen faucets and carrying reusable water bottles; to buying from local, organic farmers who nourish, build and protect the soil; to increasing their volunteer time to build peace in their gang-ridden communities. The means are as varied as the individuals taking a stand.

That's the beauty of the work. We all start where we are, with one clear, mutual objective in mind: To have created a shift, by December 2014, that will impel us toward sustainability, justice and fulfillment for everyone. Tall, tall order, yes, but some of the world's best thinkers think it is possible. Not only that, they think the human race will not survive if we don't do it.

I'll address your questions better in upcoming posts, Hayden. Thank you again for raising such good questions. I appreciate so much your commentary.

Kathryn Grace said...

Kario, thank you for your checking in and for your kind words. When I read your blog, I see the ways you are building peace. Each of us has our part in the process, don't you think? Hayden, you, me. We're all doing our part, one way or another.

Hayden said...

Thanks for the thoughtful response, Kathryn - it really cleared up some basic questions I had over this project.

$200,000 to convert the house was both yes and no to the tongue in cheek question. From my perspective, YES. But it was the goal of the consultants to talk me into that. Never mind that my roof is new and good for 50 years.... rip it off, reframe/re-insulate the roof, re-roof. Ditto with the siding..... completely impractical. And the huge amount of waste in trashing perfectly good siding and roof was shrugged off. It was discouraging to realize that this technology is ONLY good for new homes while also being pushed for retro-fits. A huge gap between the awareness of those selling it and their potential customers. I can't imagine anyone actually doing it unless they're trying to rescue a house in terrible condition.

Hayden said...

Looking at the nation's housing supply - the fact that we currently have a massive overstock (and will, by some estimates through 2050) I COULD see pushing for major changes in insulation requirements on new housing, and on additions - but not on existing structures. The real financial pain wouldn't hit many, only the wealthiest, but it would position us for serious change before the last half of the century. I don't know how old the housing stock is, on average, in the US, but average life of a house has to be in excess of 100 yrs. And we should WANT it to be, because of the waste involved in tear-downs.

At home energy use is going to be a problem until we can shift the grid to less polluting sources.

One of the 'best' insulating solutions recommended was spray foam because it seals/prevents air leaks. But it's probably nasty stuff itself.... don't know. They also thought inside use of remanufactured rubber flooring was a good idea. But when I asked about off-gassing, they admit that well, it does stink for awhile. Sigh.

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