SNS Press: Seeking New Solutions

May-June, 2012
Vol. 11, Number 5-6


Home Page About SNS Press Author Richard Sidy Contact Us Buy Publications


A hopeful approach for the future of international relations.

Redirect teen rebellion towards idealism and self improvement.

Read excerpts from unpublished book: Science, Religion and the Search for God —Bridging the Gap.

Poems of society, the human condition, and spiritual discovery.

Our student activities and curriculum materials instill an environmental, cultural, and global perspective, and integrate various academic disciplines.

Featured Articles about Responsibility, the Future and Consciousness:

Hope for the Future
Series on Leadership
Series on Global Consciousness
World Peace in Less Than a Month?
Can Idealism Solve Problems?
Conflict, Harmony and Integrity
Human Programming and Conflict
Non-violent Political Change
Living Without an Enemy
Protecting Children: Words and Deeds





This Month's Article

Moving from Scarcity to Abundance

Do what you can
With what you have
Where you are.
— Theodore Roosevelt

I asked a diverse group of sustainability students and people aspiring for a self-sufficient lifestyle, “How can you make a 20 mile per gallon car get 80 miles per gallon?” Amongst all their scientific and fanciful responses, not one touched upon the simplest answer: “Take three passengers!”

When we shift from our ingrained scarcity paradigm, to the abundance paradigm, we unlock the potentials of the many resources we already have. Part of that shift is a shift of language. Why not talk about “people miles per gallon?” We already use “people-hours” as a metric for measuring the amount of work needed to do a job. Some are starting to use the term ”food miles” as a measure of the carbon footprint of what we eat.

We are also conditioned to think that the solutions of our environmental problems will take much research, great expenditures of time and resources, miraculous innovations and major political acts. A key element of the abundance paradigm is to realize that our problems are not simply a result of what we have but rather how we use what we have. When we shift our thinking to the abundance paradigm we realize that the source of our power and prosperity is in large part the choices we make.

In addition, by changing our thinking we may find out that the most ecological act is to repurpose what we have rather than manufacture new, albeit better, stuff. What is often obsolete is how we use what we have. Unless we change how we think, even new stuff will not change our life in a qualitative way. We must examine our relationships with what we have so that we can transition to a lifestyle where we make the new, innovative technology more relevant and purposful.

It is a question of being the cause of change rather than just the response to it. This is the essential factor that will spur our psychological and cultural evolution. Otherwise we are just living to catch up – to make our life conform to the changing economic and material landscape. The inherent danger to this type of existence is that we are allowing others to control our way of life and make the choices that ultimately limit our options, and condition our values and how we relate to what we have, and think we need.

The scarcity paradigm is programmed into us because it is the driving force of a consumer economy. If we are resourcefu,l then we will not feel driven to consume needless products.  When we see the abundance that we have, we see new potentials and develop a new power of creative living using our resources in an unexpected and more socially satisfying way.  This is the first most important stage to our liberation from our addiction to have.

© 2012 Richard V. Sidy

Some Related Articles on SNS Press:

The Imaginary Economy — Part I

The Imaginary Economy — Part II

When Sacrifice is no Sacrifice



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Archives Column Menu
archives archives archives
Archives 2002:
Vol. 1, Numbers 1-12

Read past articles including:
Hope for the Future
Six Part Series on Science and Religion
First Three Parts of the Series on Leadership
Archives 2003:
Vol. 2, Numbers 1-12

Read past articles including:
Series on Leadership continued
Avoiding Dictatorship in a Free Society

Art and Politics
Living the Good Life
Teaching Teens
World Peace in Less Than a Month?
Archives 2004:
Vol. 3, Numbers 1-12

Read past articles including:
Seven Part Series on Global Consciousness
Is "Liberal" a Dirty Word?
Can Idealism Solve Problems?
Peace on Earth, Goodwill to All

Archives 2005:
Vol. 4, Numbers 1-12

Read past articles including:
Standing up for Humanity
Unity in Diversity
Thought and Imagination
Imagination and Healing
Lessons of Katrina
Intelligent Design or Evolution

Archives 2006:
Vol. 5, Numbers 1-12

Read past articles including:
Human Programming and Conflict
Non-Violent Political Change
Sustainable Development
Legalizing Torture
Living Without an Enemy
"Fast Food" is really "Slow Food"
Archives 2007:
Vol. 6, Numbers 1-12

Read past articles including:
State of Fear
Criminal Justice
Culture Shock
Personal Ecology
Exploring the Mind - Parts 1 and 2
How Much Pain Can We Stand?
Archives 2008:
Vol. 7, Numbers 1-12

Read past articles including:
Beyond Ideology
The Imaginary Economy
Tribalism and the 2008 Election
Guilt, Shame and U.S. Justice
Have We Been Willing Slaves?
Are We Ready for the Future?
Archives 2009:
Vol. 8, Numbers 1-12

Read past articles including:
The Good New Days
The Time is Right
The New Anarchy
The Art of Living
Are Women Becoming More Unhappy?
From Cowboys to Cowed
Who are the Real Game Changers?
Archives 2010:
Vol. 9, Numbers 1-12

Read past articles including:
The Music of Place
Earthquakes and Other Awakenings
The Sense of Place
Why do People Serve?
Ecological Literacy
Organization or Organism?
Are we afraid of our Better Angels?
Choosing our Battles

Meeting the Need
Diplomacy Help for Teens Science and Religion Poetry Archives
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