Regeneration: Beyond Sustainability
Notes on Earthworm
Sustainability is about maintaining the status quo. Keeping things "as they are" or restoring them to "as they were". It's present and past-focused.
On the other hand,
Regeneration is about the future. It's about cultivating a deeper, richer, more diverse, cooperative growing environment than what we've had today and in the past at large.
In farming terms, that means feeding the soil as much as you hope for it to feed you. Take all its nutrients, replenish none and soon it will have none left for you. But feed it, let things rot into hummus the way they're supposed to. Give it all the nutrients it needs. And for you will it will do the same.
In terms of solving the environmental problems created by global over-consumption, I believe maintaining the status quo means to simply continue developing towards cradle-to-cradle product life cycles, but not changing the way we use and the habits we form with our products, and what those habits do to affect our psychology.
Not unlike if, to solve the problems created by over-consumption of food, we merely grew the same quantities of the same crops and livestock, but without using petro-based chemicals to do so. we'd still be eating too much, improperly. And the affects that has on health and well-being are just as important to work away from as robbing our soil of its nutrients.
To keep selling, developing, "shipping" product the way we are today, just without pummeling our planet to acquire the resources doesn't sound all that inspiring to me. A step in the right direction, sure. But not an end solution..we can do better than that. There's more that needs to be done.
I believe to truly solve the problem means to go beyond maintaining what we know today. We can do so, so much better. And we should. It's our duty. To repay those who worked so hard to give us all of the techs and inventions and medicines that make our lives so much easier.
We should educate. We should teach the next generation the lessons we learned from our mistakes, so that they can avoid at least some of them. That way, they'll have time to make new mistakes, and learn new lessons to teach the generation after them.
And slowly, generation by generation, things will continue to get better. Bit by bit, people will become more accepting, more open, and more in tune with 'how to live the good life', a concept which of course will continue to evolve as well. The general culture of the earth will be more symbiotic entirely, where everyone helps everyone else thrive, and by doing so, we all thrive. Humans will realize there are more ways of speaking, more languages then simply those communicated through body and tongue. And they'll learn to appreciate these languages. The scent or texture of a mushroom, for example. Or the leaning trunk of a tree.
Through this learning, with each generation we regenerate. We improve, we work towards "better" rather than dig our heels into "same".
It's the regeneration.