We're pissing in every well we find
The wrongness of the core idea of capitalism that progress is made when everyone pursues their self-interest is never better illustrated than in the tragedy of the commons. The list of tragedies is endless:
- We live in Amsterdam. It's a beautiful city, but real estate speculation and mass tourism are gradually turning it into Disney-like attraction.
- Watching a Frozen-movie with the kids on TV can be a joyful family experience until they ruin it with five advertising blocks.
- We want to drive our cars as fast as we want to while musing about the beauty of the countryside. But while doing this, the quality of what's left of nature is rapidly declining, precisely because we're slowly suffocating it.
I can go on and on. We, humans, tend to piss in every well of beauty and prosperity we find.
I don't know the solution to the problem, but I do know that the psychology of happiness points to some exciting directions. The key to living a happy life is not about consuming the things you want to have or to buy experiences. Life long happiness is all about living a meaningful life. It's about forming deep relationships with others, through which your sense of self transcends. Happiness is about learning new things. And it's about contributing to a more significant good.
Find happiness in restoring the wells in 2020
So instead of pissing in the wells we visit, why not dedicate ourselves to joining forces to restore the wells that we are in the process of destroying:
- bring back the sense of belonging in the communities we live
- restore the wildlife in our regions
- join forces to speed up the transition to a carbon-free world
- restore the opportunities for kids who grow in poverty to get access to good education, proper role models and enough opportunities to climb the social ladder
These are the wicked behavioural design challenges for 2020 we are going to focus on. To restore the wells of beauty, meaning and prosperity, what a great mission for the next year.
Tom, Astrid and the SUE'ers.