Short-term vs. long-term good
I've been thinking about short-term vs. long-term a lot lately, mostly because of the research I'm doing into the climate change situation for a book I'm writing. You might also think of it as individual good vs. collective good.
For example, an impoverished family never is able to afford their own car. They take public transportation everywhere. As individuals, and in the short-term, they do not have the convenience of their own vehicle. Collectively, though, and for the long-term, they have a reduced "carbon footprint," meaning, they use less resources than others who do have cars. They contribute by not consuming as much.
On the flip side, there is a family who can afford every material doohickey and gizmo known to man. They may have a huge carbon footprint as individuals. But they can also afford to purchase and support new technologies such as hybrid cars or solar panels. In this way, they contribute to perfecting these technologies for mass production, so that everyone can reduce their consumption.
I'm reminded of Mary Baker Eddy's phrase, "whatever blesses one blesses all." Is it possible in this human existence to achieve this kind of balance, where consumption is actually beneficial? Meaning, by using someone else's goods and services, I will actually cause no harm? Does there always need to be waste and destruction for us to survive?
I’ve been taking this question to Spirit lately, because frankly, many of the projections for the future make me shake my head at the grim prospects. But, even if we haven't caused the massive changes that are taking place, we may still have a window to turn things around. And to me, that effort has to start mentally.
We have to take that spiritual equation of universal blessing and make it the standard by which we measure the solutions we devise. We need to move beyond thinking of short-term conveniences for ourselves individually to long-term benefits for the entire world. Once we become accustomed to the needs of the long-term and the collective, it's my belief that the short-term and individual will fall into line and become harmonious.
How is everyone else thinking about these issues?
Your ideas and inspiration are welcome! Please comment below or Contact Laura.
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