I wonder in the future if people will look back at our time and call it the “The Want Ages” in the same horror and disbelief as people discuss the Dark Ages at times. People may think “you thought what and did what?!?” In our case it will be shock and awe in how on earth did we let everything get so wasteful and people so unhappy all at once.
Perhaps the saddest point for me in our current time is the fact people spend so much of their time trying to fulfill their wants that they don’t even realize that they haven’t even finished fulfilling their needs. It’s a rather backwards world we live in when we keep buying gadgets and the latest movies yet people don’t really have someone to talk to about their problems or that people can’t find a job that they don’t hate.
Now let me state I’m looking past the basic needs here of food, shelter and water. I’m into affection, protection, understanding, participation, creation, identity and freedom. See here.
Perhaps the solution is not about giving up things, but rather demand more of our needs are met and focusing our energy there. After all if you connected to those around you and do something that brings purpose to your live and have someone who you can share affection with would you even care about getting more things? Likely a lot less.
So the up shot of having happier lives and feeling more satisfied would be less demand for stuff. Sure the GDP would go down, but so would our breakneck speed of resources consumption. Perhaps we could then focus more on being more efficient and doing more with less. The change won’t be good for the economy in the short run, but it would be much better for people. Perhaps it is time to say goodbye to the Want Ages and mindless greed that comes with it. Perhaps it is time to move on to do what works better for people and all of their needs.