Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Basic Rules

For years I have been searching for a simple set of rules that could lead any person to live responsibly and sustainably. Last week it occurred to me that the answer could be found in observing how wild species live, along with the people I respect the most. Here is the result:

  1. Take only what you need from the world, and let others have the rest.

  2. Develop your strengths, and compensate for your weaknesses.

  3. Question everything, and test the answers.

The first rule enables us to maximize the availability of resources, maximizing the upper limit of how long we can survive. The second rule maximizes our personal longevity. The third rule enables us to adapt to changing conditions, as well as keeping our lives interesting.

It will be interesting to see how this works in practice, beginning with a comparison of how we currently live with its mandates. Myself, I am seriously deficient in following the first rule, slightly more successful with the second rule, and perhaps best at following the third rule. By design, the third rule supports the second, and both the second and third rules support the first; so being better at following the third rule should result in more sustainable living, given enough time.

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