I have transcribed the following list from a book I am currently reading by the Norwegian philosopher and environmentalist Arne Naess (1912-2009), founder of the ‘Deep Ecology’ movement. The book is titled: Ecology of Wisdom.
You may wish, as I did, to read it slowly and considerately at an appropriate time, and then reread it again mentally highlighting those particular points that might be speaking to your own life situation.
I think it is a good list. One of those lists you print out and stick up somewhere to remind you….
Lifestyle Trends Within the Deep Ecology Movement:
- Use simple means; avoid unnecessary, complicated instruments and other sorts of means.
- Choose activities most directly serving values in themselves and having intrinsic value. Avoid activities that are merely auxiliary, have no intrinsic value, or are many states away from fundamental goals.
- Practice anti consumerism. This negative attitude follows from trends 1 and 2.
- Try to maintain and increase the sensitivity and appreciation of goods in sufficient supply for all to enjoy.
- Eliminate of lessen neophilia – the love of what is new merely because it is new.
- Try to dwell in situations of intrinsic value and to act rather than being busy.
- Appreciate ethnic and cultural differences among people; don not view the differences as threats.
- Maintain concern about the situation in developing nations, and attempt to avoid a standard of living too much higher than that of the needy (maintain a global solidarity of lifestyle).
- Appreciate lifestyles that can be maintained universally — lifestyles that are not blatantly impossible to sustain without injustice toward fellow humans or other species.
- Seek depth and richness of experience rather than intensity.
- Appreciate and choose, when possible, meaningful work rather than just making a living.
- Lead a complex, not complicated life, trying to realise as many aspects of positive experiences as possible within each time interval.
- Cultivate life in community (Gemeinschaft) rather than in society (Gesellschaft).
- Appreciate, or participate in primary production — small scale agriculture, forestry, fishing.
- Try to satisfy vital needs rather than desires.
- Attempt to live in nature rather than just visiting beautiful places; avoid tourism (but occasionally make use of tourist facilities).
- When in vulnerable nature, live “light and traceless”.
- Appreciate all life-forms rather than merely those considered beautiful, remarkable, or narrowly useful.
- Never use life-forms merely as means. Remain conscious of their intrinsic value and dignity, even when using them as resources.
- When there is a conflict between the interests of dogs and cats (and other pet animals) and wild species, try to protect the wild creatures.
- Try to protect local ecosystems, not only individual life-forms, and think of ones’ own community as part of the ecosystems.
- Besides deploring the excessive interference in nature as unnecessary, unreasonable, and disrespectful, condemn it as insolent, atrocious, outrageous, and criminal– without condemning the people responsible for the interference.
- Try to act resolute and without cowardice in conflicts, but remain nonviolent in words and deeds.
- Take part in or support nonviolent direct action when other ways of action fail.
- Practice vegetarianism.