16 October, 2007

Savouring life

What world are we leaving our children? Sharif Abdullah at the 2007 ICFA conference asked us to visualise a world that valued children first. This world would be nurturing, joyful, playful and teaching and caring would be highly valued vocations. Visualise a world where art and music are most valued, what would it be like? There would be colour, beauty, harmony and less struggling artists. Visualise a world that values money more than anything else and we have our current reality. We have bigger homes with smaller families, more personal debt, more personal consumer gadgets, more pollution and less clean air and less biodiversity to experience. Economically we are the best we have ever been. Yet suicide and depression rates are the highest on record.

It is difficult to know what to do, will our actions make the planet better or worse? Reducing our carbon emissions, recycling water, investing in renewable energies - will this make the planet better or worse? When living in a complex open system where the consequences of our actions are uncertain and future, it makes it more difficult to understand the effects of our choices. Very few people intentionally want to leave a depleted planet for our future generations. These same people are unable to comprehend the consequences associated with their high consumerism. Collectively we are continuing to deplete our earth's natural resources and eating ourselves out of this planet. Sure buying new things feels good, the feeling only lasts temporarily. If we understood the cradle to grave resources and processes that our consumerism creates we would all be more careful of our credit card purchases.

Are we overcompensating on consumerism to make up for the spirit less, disconnected lives we are living? Remember what gives us real joy,e.g. sunsets, nature, children's smiles, friendships, live music, aromas of fresh baking, playing our favourite sport - savouring life and being in the moment. Spirituality is feeling fully energised and connected to each other - all aspects of the planet.

What about another way of being? Imagine slowing down our day, our 24 hours are not rushing by, we are present and feeling the moments. We greet the day, we savour our food, we nurture and take care of our physical body and soul, we connect with nature, we exercise because we want to extend and experience the capability of our bodies, we speak to our neighbours, we create sustainable value in our vocations, we have deep conversations with our partners and friends, we contribute to our community, we exercise our passions and purposes and feel connected to the planet... We have more savouring experiences and less obsessions. We have less activities in our day and more heightened moments. We are full human 'beings' rather than human 'doings'. We are sampling and savouring life. Our challenge is to create connected organisations where all employees can exercise passion, purpose and can create sustainable value for all stakeholders including our biodiversity and future generations.

No comments: