Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Good Life

"Once our basic physical needs are covered, more stuff does little to boost our happiness. Friendships, family, self-acceptance, and meaning in our lives are the core determinants of our happiness."

~Frances Moore Lappe; Yes Magazine, "Voices Carry"

Last week, I attended a workshop. The title was something like: The Theology of Abundance: Creating a Future with Sustainability.

One of the key concepts was "The Good Life." As the world changes with new technologies and diminishing resources, how do we create the The Good Life? What could it look like? ...What comprises The Good Life anyway?

We discussed how to create new and meaningful changes in society from the ground up.

To be honest, when I hear "grassroots," I think of grungy myopic fringe-type activists who are (I'm sure) doing fine work, but I'm happy to leave it to "them."

However, as we talked and shared stories, it became clear that there are plenty of choices out there. We are not locked in to a boring life. We can apply our wits, knowledge & skills to whatever vision we have for our life, our home, our community, and beyond. And, creation & expression are satisfying.

In one of our sessions, the themes that came up... our thoughts and interests... seemed to hone in on Community and Intimacy. A few complaints about txt messaging and facebook ("People don't communicate deeply anymore"), led us to appreciate them as tools. It's revitalizing to remember that we get to choose how to use them. And, if we remember that it's Intimacy that we're after, then we can choose to develop that.

In the midst of new challenges, we can be creative and seek out the new opportunities that lie in our midst.

Pretty cool.

PS: I would love to hear your thoughts on The Good Life


BigMama said...

That's funny, because this is pretty much in line with my thoughts from my most recent Musical Monday!

I think The Good Life tends to involve imagination and innovation. Sometimes that DOES include "stuff" to spur on imagination. But so often, we rely strictly on the imagination of others rather than cultivating our own. And that fear to branch out and do our own thing keeps us from truly experiencing The Good Life.

At least sometimes. Sometimes The Good Life is just sitting and watching reruns of Murphy Brown.