When it comes to economics, profit has historically been king. But one of the things that we all have to learn, as a global society, is that real value does not lie in financial profit and endless growth. We need to learn to look at the cost of things not just in terms of money, but in terms of the things that really count – energy, water, land and resources. And in terms of human lives too.
Real value lies in clean water and clean air. It lies in vibrant and biodiverse natural ecosystems. In the world’s cycles turning. In human kindness, creativity and innovation. It lies in looking beyond petty greed and selfish desires and finding ways to work together for a better, greener future.
Moving beyond a purely financial outlook can begin at home. In our own private lives and in our own businesses. Often, living in a capitalist world, we can get caught up in money. We can let it rule our lives and dictate our decisions. But if we make the simple decision to look at real value, assign value more wisely, and reject throw-away consumerism, we can often find solutions our own problems as well as those on a more global scale.
We often forget that the financial cost of a particular product – whether it is food, clothing, a household item etc. – does not always reflect its true cost, or its real value. One simple way to make a difference is simply to step back and recognise these things.
Should those of us (who are able to do so) pay a little more for sustainable food, or for items that reflect their sustainable origins – to make sure these become the new normal and are available for all? What must we reject entirely because it comes at too great a real cost?
Thinking just a little more deeply about these things can help us all move in the right direction.