In order for humans and other species to thrive on a finite planet, what might 21st-century economics have to look like? How about a doughnut?
When the Nordic countries are ranked as happiest, the least corrupt, and best in terms of child well-being, couldn't we stand to learn a few lessons from them? (Read The Nordic Theory of Everything: In Search of a Better Life or watch a panel discussion with author Anu Partanen.)
Who ever decided dandelions were not to like, especially when they have so much food and medicinal value? (Read Ten Things You Might Not Know About Dandelions, including how they actually benefit the soil lawns depend on.)
The rationale for a Medicare-for-all type of healthcare system appears to be a no-brainer for small- and medium-sized businesses simply wanting to focus on their business objectives (watch the short film FIX IT: Healthcare at the Tipping Point). So in a country known for its business being business, who other than big business (and the politicians beholden to them) could be delaying us from joining other industrial nations in offering universal health care?
Might our Constitution have mentioned something about education and healthcare if we'd had Founding Mothers contributing to its content along with Founding Fathers?
In considering products and services marketed for their "convenience" or "efficiency", how many of those items actually rob us of operating with greater intention in our lives?
In addition to lamenting the loss of jobs, shouldn't we all be trying to move farther away from using automated machines and services?
Who shoulders responsibility for determining what "acceptable risk" is, and how is that concept communicated to those living beside, downwind, or downstream from industrial hazards?
Something I recently heard reminded me of Sebastian Junger's Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging. Both left me wondering, how is it that we've allowed our sense of community to decay so much on the home front, that so many are willing to look for it elsewhere?
When times are good, perpetuating the status quo seems reasonable. But what keeps so many of us perpetuating the status quo when times are bad?
When people are employed in jobs that compromise their own values, the fallout is significant not only for the individuals but for the community at large. Wouldn't a stronger safety net providing support and retraining lend itself to increased psychological health for the individual and an enriched stock of community assets?
Permaculturalist Bill Mollison writes, "In a world where such a great deal of work has to be done just to repair past damage, replace forests, secure soils from loss, house people, or build local self-reliance, unemployment is an obscene concept." So what's keeping us from diving in and getting the work done?
While reading Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States, I'm reminded of the question, how can we expect everyone to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps when prevailing systems have stacked the odds against many from the start? Think indigenous peoples. Think descendants of slavery. Think women or any other group whose freedom has been diminished by dominating others.
Even Utopian projects can fail miserably when involved participants refuse to look at themselves in the mirror to see how they might be contributing to interpersonal conflict. The Enneagram of Personality Types gives us a mirror for when we dare to dive deeper, but what keeps so many of us from daring?