Most of us can see that the world would be a better place if we defined wealth by how much we can give to each other in the context of our true relational needs, rather than how much we can get from each other without respect to our real needs. To our detriment, some of us currently do not define wealth by a standard that supports the realization of our full potential. In fact; a cultural standard based on getting instead of giving actually generates poverty once we examine it more closely. In this case, we are both ignorant, and/or have deceived ourselves into believing that getting more brings wealth. One example is that we define power as how much we control, instead of how much we influence a more nourishing environment. The “more we get”, the “more wealth we have”, or so we appear to think. This is a lie. Everything we are (biologically speaking) says this is not what fulfills us.
Biological speaking, if we get too much water, we drown. If we get too little we dehydrate. If this lack or excess crosses a critical threshold, the cooperative relational dynamic on which our biological system depends disintegrates. Everything about our biological structure says “enough is enough”, too much or too little is a form of poverty. If we overextend what we tap from our environment, it is the same as eating our own seed corn. It’s like killing the golden goose. The concept is not complicated. Specific relationships in balance is what sustains us. If we rape the environment in the short term, we do so at the expense of sustainability. While we continue to insist behaviorally, ideologically and culturally that somehow more is better, that getting equals wealth, we continue to miss the mark on what truly fulfills us; shared wealth.
The core of what we need to understand if we are going to craft a global environment that is both necessary and sufficient to meet our real needs is the idea that fulfillment comes from satisfaction of real needs. It does not come from the inseparable waves of excess and lack caused by an inequitable relationship with our environment. We need to understand what is being spoken through our biology about who and what we are. Whenever we deviate from this inherent biological standard for balance whether ideologically or behaviorally, we do so to our own detriment. When we consider such things as the social, political, educational and commerce implications of this we can see just how much our current relational dynamic is off the mark in terms of meeting our needs. We need to both understand and respond proportionally to our real hungers. Most of us understand poverty caused by lack, what we struggle with culturally is that poverty is also caused by excess. (More on this in later blog posts)
By nature, we must have some kind of value proposition in the context of the larger community of life in which we exist in order to be fulfilled. This principle exists in every organ and cell in our body as well as social contexts. Each entity in the community of life must both deliver something of nourishing value, and be open to receive nourishing value from the rest of the community of living relationships. If this nourishing relational dynamic is short circuited in any way we suffer some form of poverty in the form of damage, or a total loss of biological integrity.
Another important thing to remember; in the context of humanity, we need to give up the myth of “us” and “them”. There is no “them”. If we do not have ethical standards that are focused on the whole community of life, we ultimately shortchange our own potential. This recognition of our interdependent nature also extends beyond our species. We are part of a larger living ecosystem. We ultimately receive the oxygen, carbohydrates and so on we need directly or indirectly from plants, and they need the carbon dioxide and nitrates, etc. we produce. This relationship parallels the same relationship dynamic that must exist between the organs in our body. We must be mindful of keeping in relational balance at many levels in order to sustain our own being. We are just one organ in a larger body of life. We are all in this together.