Sunday, December 6, 2015

Quote for the Day

Today's quote is actually quite lengthy since it is an excerpt of a speech given by Robert F. Kennedy in 1967. His words, spoken almost 50 years ago, still hold true today. Politicians and business people might stick their heads in the sand and continue to rally for a "growing" economy, but such growth is like a cancer, eating up all that is healthy on the planet, just so they can point to graphs that show "progress." We need a new way of thinking. Is progress merely turning nature into commodities and communities into services?

Here are Kennedy's words (below is a recording):
Too much and for too long, we seemed to have surrendered personal excellence and community values in the mere accumulation of material things. Our Gross National Product, now, is over $800 billion dollars a year, but that Gross National Product – if we judge the United States of America by that – that Gross National Product counts air pollution and cigarette advertising, and ambulances to clear our highways of carnage. [As of 2013, our GDP was almost $17 trillion dollars a year.]
It counts special locks for our doors and the jails for the people who break them. It counts the destruction of the redwood and the loss of our natural wonder in chaotic sprawl.
It counts napalm and counts nuclear warheads and armored cars for the police to fight the riots in our cities. It counts Whitman’s rifle and Speck’s knife, and the television programs which glorify violence in order to sell toys to our children.
Yet the gross national product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education or the joy of their play. It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages, the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials.
It measures neither our wit nor our courage, neither our wisdom nor our learning, neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country, it measures everything in short, except that which makes life worthwhile. 
And it can tell us everything about America except why we are proud that we are Americans. [Source]


David said...

Cherie, our country has indeed lost the vision of what is important. Everything seems to hinge on how much more profit was made this year compared to years past. Today there's more waste then ever before. Every thing is held together with cheap petroleum based transportation. The basis for all thriving economies is capitalism. An ever increasing thirst from consumers for goods and services is what fuels capitalism. I'm definitely not an advocate for eliminating capitalism but I think it's gotten a bit out of control. Success should not be based on how much profit a company has earned or how much income a job produces.

Have a great Virginia day in the garden.

Cherie said...

David - I've been hearing good news lately. Many of today's young people understand that our way of life isn't sustainable and they're also aware of conditions around the world. One problem is the corporate structure - corporations are legally obligated to make a profit. That is why a company like REI was able to give up the Black Friday madness - they're a cooperative and not a corporation. Have a great week!