Solutionaries are the answers to success. They are the answers to a happy environment, happy people, and a happy economy. As my wise teacher once said, “the concept of Solutionaries is a powerful one. It says, the world is a screwy place and we’re not gonna let that defeat, disempower, or depress us. Instead we’re gonna find a million innovative ways to work toward a positive future.” And I couldn't agree more.
To me, a positive future is obtainable. A future where people take our planet into consideration when making decisions. An economy that thrives from green technology, renewable energy, and innovative thinking. And humans that are happy and grateful. That future, would be euphoria. To achieve such a positive future, we all must obtain a different mindset. Instead of thinking, I want the brand new iPhone, we need to think, do I need the brand new iPhone? Is it economically feasible for me to buy the brand new iPhone? Media and advertisement has blinded us into thinking that material objects are what will fulfil our lives, and makes us better people. Instead of craving the next big thing, we must learn to be grateful for what we have.
Large corporations will not support my arguments. A downfall to this less-stuff-lifestyle, would be a decline in the GDP. And to be honest, I don’t know how to fix that! A hybrid economic system? Money spent towards more leisure time instead of material objects? Money put towards renewable energy and green technology? And, not everyone will be on board. Some like their lavish lives, celebrities living in hollywood mansions, basking poolside may not be the ones to hop on the bandwagon of fewer material objects. Maybe they wouldn't be opposed to installing some solar panels to heat their hot tub, or investing in a hybrid car to drive around town. These are the types of decisions we need to consciously make, how can we make the smallest impact on our environment while still obtaining the products we want.
As for me, I am one of those people who are gung-ho with the less-stuff-lifestyle, but, when the latest fashion trend comes out, or the newest equine technology is on the market, I struggle to stay away from the stores. In turn, I have been picking and choosing what I want. Do I want a new iPhone case, or do I want to go out to dinner with my friend? A new pair of jeans, or a few more yoga classes on my punch card? These decisions have led me to a far more grateful mindset.
I feel both hopeful and hopeless in regards to our economy and our environment. We live in an economically driven country, which has led us to obtain great power. Not everyone is concerned with the environment as much as they are concerned about wealth and power, which leads me to a feeling of defeat. But, eventually, we will be forced into a new way of thinking. Though it may only be a handful of Solutionaries with this mindset today, our society will be pressured into a new way of thinking when to threats of peak oil and climate change become a rapidly approaching reality. I have left this semester with an understanding of the problems at hand and an appreciation for those working to change them. I have been inspired by Ginny Sassamen, a happiness solutionary, and comforted by the amount of focus ecological economics is gaining on the web.