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Creating a Career

Page history last edited by PBworks 16 years ago


        Finding our own "True Work"



Buckminster Fuller has a profoundly elegant question: "What does the world need, that we are uniquely suited to do? "


I think that we, like all other life-forms on this amazing planet, should be able to do what we truly love, while contributing to the well-being of life. Like earthworms, rabbits, trees, we as humans should also be able to follow our true nature, and through the process of doing that, be a blessing to life.  The Tree and all plants give off oxygen, and Humans and all animals, breath it oxygen.  Animals give off carbon-dioxide, and plants take in carbon dioxide.  Balancing cycles like this, each part contributing to the other part, is what makes nature sustaining. Can we take our place in this, choosing our "work" so that it is true to us, as individuals, and ALSO true to the greater whole of life?  



 Some Questions to explore:


  1. What are the issues of the future?  The concerns, hopes?  What does the world really, really need? Map these issues individually or as a group.
  2. What do I love? What types of things am I naturally interested in? 

    Hands-on activities? Artistic?  Investigating how things work?  Exploring mechanical things?  Camping?      

  3. How can these two things be merged,

    so that I get to do what I love, while helping the world and future life be healthy, happy and sustainable? 

  4. Where do I love to be? 

    Outdoors with friends?  playing in a river? A variety of experiences?  Challenges?  Comfort? 

  5. What are some of my unique gifts that I could apply to what the world needs? 

    Help invent or promote ecological technologies?  Teach people how to build simple structures? Use drama to communicate meaningful ideas, or heal people through laughter? Other?  Each part of life needs to have the love and light of our gifts. 

    What is truly needed?  We as humans now collaboratively shape the future with our choices.

  6. How much has advertising and consumerism shaped our experiences and choices?
  7. How do we begin to explore a joyful and sustainable life-style?







Take any portion of your life and consider how it impacts the world. Then do something to improve its effect.

What are the connections back to the source?  What is one thing you could do, alone or with others, to help make a positive difference.  For example, you are giving a party.  Usually you might use disposable plates to save time cleaning up. 


What am I doing?

Throwing a party.

How does it affect the rest of the world/people/nature?  What do you know about the connections?

One aspect is the paper plates I plan to use and throw out.  I don't know where the paper comes from.  Trees, somewhere.  Some trees were cut down, and the environment was probably degraded.  I don't really know because it is indirect and no one tells me anything.  Everyone else just buys them and uses them and throws them out?

What are some alternatives?  How to have a good time, and not harm the earth? 

Well, we could use ceramic dishes and wash them.  Perhaps it could be discussed with the folks, and why we are doing it.




Things to reflect on and discuss:


  • What creates Quality of Life?
  • How can we create a life-style that is personally satifying AND good for all other life on earth? 
  • How might focusing on "lifes simple pleasures" be fun and a way to "live lightly on the earth"?
  • What qualities of life might we want to re-gain?




What things have people done from the beginning of time.  Direct relationship with nature, food, clothing, housing, singing, dancing.

Have we gotten to have direct connection?  Or has everything become a consumer item, purchased by our work?


Do we really have much time left over?  After traveling to and from work and school and events, after buying and maintaining, fixing and replacing....after shopping and cleaning and organizing....how much time do we really have to relax, learn, play, celebrate, hang out in nature?  Anthropologists often say that our anscestors "worked" about 4 hours a day to meet all their needs.  This "work" was foraging for food, weaving baskets, creating tools, hunting and fishing, building structures.  These are now considered "pleasures" by many...that we just don't have time for any more, along with cooking and eating together, playing games and making music. 


Have we become observers of life rather than participants?  How could we have more direct relationship?

Perhaps simple pleasure could meet most of our needs?  The best things in life are free? 


In Europe people visit each other and eat meals together. People have  5 weeks vacation time plus 30 holidays, in addition to weekends.  They come home at  5 pm as a rule.  Their standard of living is similar but they only use about 60% of the energy used by consumers in the U. S.  Why don't we hear about this? How can we have  a high quality of life without using up the resources on the planet, creating pollution, and working ourselves to death? 


Perhaps it has to do with consumerism, and being emmersed in a culture that needs us to buy, buy, buy?  Maybe we think that professionals can do things better than we can, so we loose our ability to know how to do almost everything that is basic to life?

Maybe we think it is drudgery to do things ourself, or that we are inadequate and don't know how to do things?  Maybe things are too complicated for us to even begin to know? Maybe we are told that simple things aren't cool, or that we need to be "comfortable" and safe all the time.  But our stress level is getting very high, we are in debt, and we are threatening all the life systems that sustain us. 


Matt Fox says, "We are the only species that is "unemployed".  All the other species are busy doing their work.  The squirrels are employed, The fox is employed. 



Resources to explore:


The New Road Map Foundation


Quality of Life Indicators

Sustainable Living

wwoof apprenticeship program

Mathew Fox's book on Work

Systems Thinking

The Green Teacher Magazine (Canada)

The Ecological Footprint

The Happiness Indicator






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