How can we live a better life?

Apr 25, 13 How can we live a better life?

A while ago, I started an exciting journey, following an unknown path, heading to incredible destinations …. I left in search of a better world; a world where people are happy and joyful, living in peace and complete harmony with themselves, others and the Planet. I used to tell myself that it’s absolutely impossible not to find this world; that it’s unlikely the entire world got stuck in credits, news broadcasts, contradictory reports or mediations, always waiting for something to pass or happen … I wanted to see for myself, I wanted to try by myself, not only to just read or talk about wonderful ideas but actually carry them out.

I was surprised to discover new societies; some were fabulously sophisticated while others were quite simple, mystical, extremely careful in relation to the surrounding environment, or rudimentary. However, all of these societies were tremendously searching for the answer to simple questions, such as: “How can we live a better life?” or “How should we build a future today to enjoy the living of tomorrow?” (that’s to avoid the use of “welfare”, because we all see what happened after the last attempt). There are hundreds of such places all over the world and their number keeps on going up although we have almost no information about them … Being there, you experience an extraordinary feeling, a profound knowledge which cannot be bound to ecological, biological, psychological or sociological arguments…

There are thousands of books, already written (or to be written) about every field of such sustainable society able to provide a future for mankind. I gathered up, and compiled herein, several ideas which were useful to me; ideas which I eventually applied, although initially I hadn’t even considered them. I believe I managed to cross a border to the future … a future which is better but completely different than this present. I started this journey with considerable luggage but when I reached my destination, I found that most of my luggage was useless and even tangled me. I was also surprised to find out that not only was there a lot to learn but also to be unlearned should we really want to reach a promising future. And the future starts now, it does not wait for tomorrow.

We definitely have twice as much as we may need … I am absolutely positive that we could have successfully managed with just half of our clothes, half of our food, carefully deposited in our pantry shelves, half of our buildings, half of the mass and volume of our cars, half of our roads and pavements, and the list can go on. Therefore, the obvious conclusion is that we have wasted and have wastefully spent half of the resources of our plant during at least the last 50 years…

We spend most of our time alone or, at the most, we get in touch with just a few people; we managed to alienate and we pretend to live between two weekend barbeques or two weekend trips in the mountains, always forgetting to wonder about the true meaning of the human life…

We keep on having insignificant dreams such as a better car, a larger house; we live our lives as bystanders to others’ events which we retell as we heard and watched on TV, since we have never been real actors thereto….
We have forgotten to have courage, we have forgotten to have big and significant dreams, we have forgotten to feel the thrill of attempting to do something completely new (completely different than taking our shoes on and grabbing our phones), we have forgotten how to be spontaneous, puerile and …free!!

Let your inner ego revolt! Try to find the beauty of living your life and the enjoyment of surprises, always seeing the glass half full and the charming youth of your fellows and get rid of habits, trends, titles and constraints! This is the only way you may start to effectively breathe! It is now, not after possible legislative changes, not after the economic crises, not after paying up your installments!

As an exercise, just check what you have already started to do and fill the pages with checkmarks! The classification is purely informative and therefore, whatever you do, it may have a significant effect on so, so many directions!

Simona Stoicescu
Taken from the foreword of A Big Change, 333 Pieces of Advice for The Transition to a More Sustainable Life on Earth
Written by Simona while she was at Damanhur, August 2012. For more about Simona and her book, read her blog (in Romanian).