Realizing long-term broad benefits involves realizing an abundance of life-serving qualities and conditions in both the present and the future. So counter both unnecessary scarcity and tendencies towards greed, extremism and unconstrained appetite by promoting the ample sufficiency of prudence, simplicity, companionship, health, beauty, gratitude, generosity, equity, spirit and creativity.
Some related patterns: 2 Appreciative Thinking 13 Commons and Commoning 32 Fair Sharing of Costs and Benefits 61 Partnership Culture 72 Regenerativity 84 Tackling Cognitive Limitations 86 Universal Intelligence
Life-Enhancing Enoughness – going deeper …
This is an edited version of the video on this page.
As part of generating the long-term broad benefits which constitute the essence of public wisdom – the wisdom of a whole society engaged in wise democratic self-governance – we need to think in terms of the seventh generation after us. We have inherited this profound seventh generation consideration from American indigenous cultures. We need to ask: What is the seventh generation after us going to have to work with? What will their culture be like? How is their culture going to look at how to satisfy their own needs? How will they look at how we are going about satisfying ours?
This rapidly moves into questions of sustainability. Within the physical constraints of a limited world, how should we relate to physical resources in order to leave enough for the future? And in the present, how do we create our society, our economies, our politics to have enough for all the people who are here now and for the other life forms we share this planet with?
We need to realize there are constraints to our consumption, obviously, because there are physical limits. However, remarkably, there is also tremendous potential abundance hidden in those constraints. There are many surveys of how happy people are with different levels of wealth and consumption. It turns out, as expected, that people who are seriously deprived – and suffering because of it – are not happy. But it also turns out that people who have lots of things tend to be attached to those things and they are also not happy. People in the middle who have enough to survive and feel more or less comfortable, yet have challenges on the physical level, find happiness in nonphysical, non-consumptive realities. They gain happiness through relationships, through beauty, through their connection to nature, through spirit, and through creativity, both individually and collectively.