Recently I came across a statement that the words “ecology” and “economy” both derive from the Greek word “oikos”, which means household. That kind of took me aback, because whenever I read about business or listen to an economist, the message is usually to externalize inconvenient costs such as resource depletion, pollution, carbon footprint…that sort of thing. By externalizing these costs, the bottom line gets to look appealing. We are such an intelligent species this sort of short-sightedness always amazes me.
Anyway, here we are coming up on a fresh new year and this seems like a good time to renew our efforts to get our dual households in order-ecology and economy, get them working hand-in-hand. I believe there are elegant solutions to our energy needs, for instance, that can deliver jobs, national security, and clean sustainable power. All we need is the will to develop and implement them. That is only one aspect, of course.
On Atoms of Thought’s wonderful blog he recently shared some haunting pictures of a ghost town. Beautiful buildings built with an eye to the future. Sadly, it was a future that did not come for that town. Still, the people made the decision to try. To design a town, to build beautiful buildings. I find this inspiring. I think we can build grace and quality into our towns. Maybe measure things a little less by the bottom line, a little more by how the things we build affect the earth, our ultimate household. If we keep things in balance, keep willing to adjust when new information comes in, our towns will have lots of tomorrows.
As for me, I’ll be happy if I can remember to bring my reusable totes to the grocery store!! Being the change you wish to see in the world can be a tall order but I expect that, decision by decision, we can keep our household healthy and vital.
Wishing you all a very joyous new year!