Saving the World by Thinking Little: A Reflection on Articles by Wendell Berry, Byron Katie and David Suzuki

The first article for this week “The World Doesn’t Need to be Saved” engages an interesting conversation. It is reassuring to know that I don’t need to save the world. The author argues that it does not help the world for me to be in a constant mindset of anxiety over how humans are destroying the planet. Change can happen through a peaceful mind and positive feelings instead of negative stress. He says that the world changes itself as I change my mind. This is either my change of perspective on the world or perhaps the change of action that affects the world through my change of mindset. The ideas in this article are welcoming because the thought of trying to make a difference in the world can be overwhelming however the author leaves the reader more confused than with a strong sense of action. The focus of Byron Katie is nevertheless still positive and uplifting.
The next article “Measuring Progress with GDP is a Gross Mistake” by David Suzuki again brings up the question of values. What is the real measure of what is important in life. What is mind-blowing is that in our endless growth economy GDP has become like a god. It is morbid to think that the economy and people should benefit from the destruction of the environment or the loss of life. The article mentions natural disasters as a huge economic boost and especially other things like war add to the GDP while offering little return to society. When did money become more important than health, natural beauty and the wealth found in community? It is so sad that the worth of people and of a nation is determined by the economy. I would not be worth much because I have chosen to work mainly in non-profit or volunteer sectors. How much more life giving would it be to measure the value of life based on vibrant communities and healthy people? I can see the world in a brighter way when the most important thing is not money.
In his article “Think Little” Wendell Berry encourages us to do just that. Thinking little makes a cause personal, it involves action. Thinking little makes a cause personal, it makes one have to examine their own mentality and actions before getting other people on board with them. Our lives are rooted in the environment as it is the basis of our survival on earth and in order to sustain healthy living we must remove our ignorance through education and learn how to respect the land. One way that Berry suggests that we can care for the land is through gardening. As David Suzuki explained about GDP in the previous article growing your own food will not contribute to the economy however it is a transition to a new economy. Essentially through gardening we can become more sustainable as communities and less dependent on the global distribution of goods. Thinking little means thinking local where we act on the things that matter to us within our community. When we are connected locally to the community and to the land we have a personal interest in its health, sustainability and success.