The Earth is being damaged as we over-consume. We feel we are not enough just as we are. We seek appreciation or filling our needs of connection through consumption, financial success, supporting economic disparity, and any act of violence has its roots in our flawed relationships. Fixing our relationships deeply is a logical key to reach peace.
Secondly, in the long run, laws and restrictions, currently a central approach to solving problems, are not the answer. For example, if we look at the problem of cigarettes, one way to tackle it is to increase the price so that people smoke less. This works to some extent, in an easy and quick way. But it is not sustainable, may lead to other addictions, trafficking, frustration, and feeling of injustice as richer people are not affected.
An intrinsic way to tackle it is to spread the knowledge of the effects of cigarettes, and to bring so much fulfilment in people’s lives that they don’t need it anymore. This takes more time, but is sustainable and does not lead to other problems.
The keys here are awareness and connection.
The more laws we put, the more laws we need. The more freedom we have, the more responsibility we take upon ourselves. It is extremely easy to be violent under the orders of someone else. As long as we remove responsibility from action, we are in the risk of violence. This can be illustrated by what happens during war. Humans destroying and killing other humans without taking any responsibility except for that of following orders.
Moreover, advances in technology are giving more and more possibilities for people to act, which will increase the difficulty of maintaining order solely with laws. 3D printers, drones, DNA sequencing, all can be used in a destructive way and aren’t easy to control. The use will reflect what is inside the user.
Addiction is another problem that is causing much suffering, violence and passivity. A study by Professor Bruce Alexander showed that it is not due to the object of addiction but rather the surrounding. If we are well surrounded, we won’t get addicted to drugs, internet (attention economy problem), shopping, games etc. It concludes: “The opposite of addiction is not sobriety. It is human connection.”
A limiting thought is that, in freedom and equality, we would stop creating and being efficient. This is because we got used to external motivation to make, and partly lost touch with our intrinsic motivation. Therefore, it is complicated to imagine, how we would behave with the freedom to only do what we really want to do.
The current system alienates people with the elements of work, money and media, pushing afar from integrity. We are used to being driven by extrinsic motivation to accomplish things and maintain peace, due to competition, money, laws etc. And this is done progressively from early age in schools, which often shuts down a large part of our intrinsic motivation. It can therefore be complicated to imagine how we would behave while fully in touch with our intrinsic motivation.
Competition can push to create without being concerned about ethics, but blinded by the pursuit of financial success. Steve Jobs has created great and successful products. However, their planned obsolescence makes them highly unecological, and their production in Chinese factories are unethical.
In my project, I will be looking for freedom, authentic interactions and self development.
Today, many practices are being built around these themes, and I wish to bring them to light. NVC (Nonviolent Communication) teaches us to deeply understand ourselves and each other through conflict resolution and expression of gratitude. Contact improvisation is freeing the body and bringing us to communicate on another level than that of rational thoughts, through movement and touch. Many meditation techniques bring us to more awareness and compassion.