12 July 2010
Ship in Port, with Ideas about Success, Materialism, Society, and Health
July 10, 2010
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A ship carrying logs is seen at the Port of Olympia, in the City of Olympia, Thurston County, Washington State. The ship is the STX Pioneer, of Panamanian registry.
Despite the many faceted objections of environmentalists, the Weyerhauser company has teamed up with the public sector and is operating a log export operation at the Port of Olympia.
Many people who understand and care about the environment object to the activities of the Weyerhauser company. The lists of reasons is long. The objections stem at least in part because of the fact that the logging operation is harmful to ecosystems. The logging and shipping imperil the delicate biodiversity that is at the heart of ecosystem health. This goes along with a number of other reasons to object to the log export operations, including but not limited to the environmental effects from the transport of such a heavy commodity over long distances.
Should companies be allowed to engage in activities that harm the environment?
Who does the environment belong to? Or rather, who ought the environment belong to? (To some and not others? To all? To none?)
When there are harmful industrial activities, does it make more sense that some few should benefit disproportionately more than others, or does it make more sense to distribute the wealth in a way so that everyone would benefit equally?
Does the focus on a definition of success that leans on the metrics of materialism (v. spirit, or community, for example) promote a fundamentally harmful, abusive, violent relationship with the material of existence, the substance of the planet?
Is it possible that there other ways of defining success that would be more favorable toward a vision of economic stability and justice, and toward an end to what many believe is the criminal behavior of big companies?
In of the current system societies are engaged in competition to exert control over resources. Instead of this scenario, think about societies moving toward a culture of cooperation and stewardship and mutual prosperity. Think about society moving away from a culture of war, conquest and dominance.
Instead of measuring success based solely on personal material riches, perhaps success could be defined along the lines of a healthy community, on the ability to take care of each other, and to be truly aware and awake, conscious (and conscientious) in our daily lives, so that we are careful to the greatest extent possible to NOT do harm...
Perhaps success could be defined along the lines of efforts to strengthen the fabric of society, to work toward an end to all violence, and an end to all unnecessary suffering - an end to poverty, starvation, illiteracy, homophobia, sexism, ageism, racism, nationalism.
Perhaps success could be defined along the lines of contribution to the mutual health and well-being—the mutual happiness and prosperity—of all people.