In one year, we have become a growth starved world. Our Economic growth stumbles due to the pandemic and we the human become vulnerable. Everyone is committing to double the growth in 2021 to compensate for the loss.
Growth is so ingrained in our minds that the Governments, entrepreneurs, investors, and we the common men everyone can’t think anything beyond our economic growth. Our personal income must grow every year, business profit must grow every year, the economies of the nations i.e. GDP must grow every year.
This growth-centric mindset is a disease. We can’t think of anything else than economic growth. Our happiness, healthcare, equitable distribution of income, impact on the ecology of our relentless actions for economic growth, how the future generation will deal and live with mammoth ecological blunder we are going to inherit them the earth with, we care less.
It’s time to pause and think. We are not thinking as we are not pausing. I think we need to have 12 months of 30 days each, and 5 or 6 days left at the end should be the period of Pause and reflect of our past actions and future course of action. 1st Jan immediately after 31st Dec is making us rush all the time as time is ticking and we have a target to achieve.
It’s time to slow down. It’s time for growing something else than the economies alone. It’s time for economic degrowth so that other growths come to the forefront.
Our personal fitness and healthcare system are in disarray, our education system is hijacked by big universities. This needs a total overhaul. Our ecology is reaching the beyond repair state, our natural resources are drying up. Our income inequality is growing day by day. This is all because our measure of success is erroneous and that is leading to measuring the wrong things for our success. This is not sustainable and has to stop.
“We should no longer measure our wealth and success in the graph that shows economic growth, but in the curve that shows the emissions of greenhouse gases.” Greta Thunberg
Handpicked related post: Climate Change – Why the Balancing Need is Urgent?
Maitresh Ghatak, the professor of economics at LBS writes in ET, “Relentlessly pursuing growth can uproot the tree that bears us fruit. Growth never was and can be a sufficient measure of human and social wellbeing. If the income of the top 10% doubles while the income of the rest stays the same, national income will still have grown by 10%.”
Giorgos Kallis a well-known Economists in Barcelona, Spain in his interview with ET, says,” Degrowth is a Gandhian philosophy. It means that we each have to live simple life so that those less lucky have enough to simply live. Right now, over consumers in the Global North are living in excess and they are shifting the cost of this overconsumption to poor people. Whose very survival is threatened? Think of climate – a rich American (Anywhere in the world) is enjoying his SUV while poor Bangladeshi (Or any poor in the world) loses house because of sea-level rise and floods.”
At a personal level also we need to reflect on how much we need to stuff in our homes to live a comfortable life? Isn’t buying unnecessary and excess things adding to global climate change? (as this adds to excess production and excess utilization of resources.) Shouldn’t you change your success criteria?
India’s 9-year-old climate activist Licypriya Kangujam Tweeted yesterday,” Our leaders did nothing & 2020 pass away. We need to act fast.”
2021 is the year of reflection. 2021 is the year of living with minimalism. 2021 should be a year of Ecology. 2021 should be a year of listening to the heart and not only the mind. 2021 should be a year of kindness towards fellow human beings and fellow living beings.
This should be a defining year if we have learned any lesson from the paused & locked-down world during the pandemic.
A simple, minimalist, eco-friendly life style is the only way to make the new year happy & years after that happier.
Talk of degrowth now so what we can survive and grow in future too.
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