As you can tell from our website, much of our focus in our elder years is on future generations. In 2002 we went public with this statement on the website. It describes our commitment to those who come after us. The statement has remained largely unmodified, though we review and add to it periodically.
We've thought long and hard about how, in our earlier years, we unthinkingly contributed to bringing the world to the current brink of disaster through our selfish use of non-renewable resources and by being unaware of, or unconcerned about, the impact of destructive social and military policies. We can't leave this earth without accepting our share of responsibility for the current condition of the planet, and feel compelled to take action to redirect our way of life and help preserve some kind of livable future for our grandchildren. We have been most fortunate to have had lives of great privilege. By making and keeping this commitment, during our remaining years we intend to put to work the skills and experience we've acquired for the betterment of all humanity.
We recognize that rapidly converting our current environmentally non-sustainable economy to an economy that is in balance with natural resources will be difficult. Many steps are already underway in other countries. Unfortunately little is being done in the United States, where our collective head is in the sand. Continuing along the current path based on traditional (and often absurd) economic thinking will inevitably lead to a global economic collapse with devastating results. We advocate an economy whose purpose is to produce the greatest good for the most people over the long run, rather than luxury and paper wealth for the few.
Here is what we commit to try to live up to. We use the word "try" deliberately because, while we are continually making change in the way we live and what we do, we are not yet true to all of these commitments. But we're getting there. Having made this statement, and reviewing it, prods us to make periodic adjustments to our way of life.
- We will devote a significant amount of our time and attention to continually enlarging our understanding and awareness about the condition of the planet, its inhabitants, and human behavior. This includes enhancing our knowledge of the environmental trends, economic circumstances, social conditions, and political and military systems, under which we and others live and are responsible for creating. We will share our findings with our friends and family, and interested others, via our website, other means of publication, and in conversation wherever it seems appropriate.
- We will develop an interactive online workshop as our method to use our skills and experience in adding momentum to efforts to shift the direction the world is heading.
- We will cultivate a daily Integral Transformative Practice to enhance the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being not only of us as individuals, but of humanity, and of the Earth. We will focus on what's good in the world and not what's bad.
- We will change our lifestyle to minimize our consumption of scarce and non-renewable resources. This means that we will avoid the use of automobiles and instead walk, ride bikes or use mass transit wherever feasible. We will reduce the annual miles we drive Clemmie. We will minimize our use of paper. We will stop accumulating "stuff" other than as essential to replace worn-out items. To the extent that we do need "stuff", we will attempt to buy those that are produced from recycled material, and do our best to recycle the materials that we use. We'll avoid purchasing items that are excessively packaged. We deplore the inhumane labor practices of some U.S. corporations abroad and will abstain from purchasing their products. We will be careful about water and power consumption.
- Because the release of greenhouse gases at great heights compounds, by several times, the effects of such gases released at ground level we will quit flying except in unusual situations where there is no feasible alternative means of transportation to reach our destination. We remember that haste makes waste, not to mention the unnecessary stress it puts on people and the environment.
- We will reduce the amount of animal protein we consume. We will make every effort to purchase food and other necessities that are produced locally rather than far away. We will not eat meat or dairy products from inhumanely treated animals. We will eat only seafood that is sustainably harvested. We won't eat food containing manufactured ingredients. Wherever possible we will buy organic produce. We will buy food items in bulk (i.e., unpackaged) whenever practicable.
- We do not believe that the United States has been elected policeman of the world, nor that it has the knowledge or insight to force other countries to take up its way of living, which is economically unsustainable. While we love and appreciate many aspects of our country, we deeply regret the untold loss of life and devastation caused by the relentess military and political intervention by the U.S. in other countries as well as the gross materialism spread by the U.S. culture as a result of corporate greed. We believe that the U.S. should comply with International Law and with agreements worked out by the United Nations and other internationally recognized agencies.
- We will vigorously advocate for changes in our government's domestic and foreign policies towards creating an environmentally sustainable world economy and achieving a decent life for all people. We will do this by voting, writing, speaking out, and supporting/participating in the work of non-governmental or other protest groups. We will spend at least one full day every month on this advocacy.
- We will seek and act on opportunities to volunteer to help others, with the intent of doing what we are able to ameliorate the condition of those who suffer most.
- We will reguarly donate some of our income to a selection of the many non-governmental and non-profit organizations whose work benefits those unable to defend or help themselves, and who are effective in addressing the world's most difficult problems.
- We will continually look for new projects to engage in so that we can leverage the skills and knowledge we've acquired during our lifetime on behalf of others, especially the children and grandchildren.
- We will always be mindful of the adage to "live simply that others may simply live". We will continually look for ways to simplify our lives. We recognize that every human being has intrinsic worth, and that we should view ourselves as custodians and not consumers of the Earth's resources.
Bill Dillon (KG4QFM)
Pat Watt (KG4QFQ)
This page was last modified on
August 9, 2009
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