Michael Laitman, On Quora: “What are your solutions to the overconsumption problem?“
We need balance between us and nature.
We need to take care of our necessities—to kill animals for food, and burn coal, oil and gas in order to reasonably use mechanisms, equipment and heating. We cannot avoid doing so. We also need to use water wisely in an adequate measure. When we throw half of what we produce back into the ocean, which generates a lot of excess dirt and garbage, then we will naturally find ourselves drowning in such excess.
Yet, such a process is in the hands of those who greedily or foolishly try to produce and earn as much as possible, discarding whatever is unused while people around them keep quiet. It has become an unstoppable process, and it turns out that half of whatever we produce in the world today is unnecessary.
The solution is to work out what is necessary and unnecessary in our lives. By doing so, we would stop about 70 to 80 percent of our production.
Moreover, the issue of working out what is necessary and unnecessary can be approached logically. Even though we are unaware of several conditions, it is still possible to exercise this approach. For instance, economists have already calculated and estimated what it means to fulfill people’s needs. But is there anyone who takes that into account? Are there people who care about everyone having enough, with no more than what is truly needed?
Nonetheless, it is a starting point: to calculate what is necessary and unnecessary in our lives.
However, there is a major problem: human nature—the egoistic desire to enjoy at the expense of others, which wishes to place oneself over others—demanding its sustenance. And the problem is in the ego always wanting to outperform others, to be better off than them. So we can work out our necessities and surpluses all that we like, but in the end, the ego will constantly want more and more, to be above one’s neighbor and to have more than them.
Therefore, together with working out what is necessary and unnecessary in our lives, and providing for our necessities, we also need a more comprehensive educational approach that shows us how our egoistic nature operates, where it is leading us, and how we can rise above its influence by connecting to each other in a common giving intention. By working out our needs, taking care of them, together with the regular learning and implementation of positive connection in human society, we would be able to solve the problems of overconsumption and overproduction, and would find that we would be able to live comfortably and happily with about 70 to 80 percent less than what we currently produce, buy and throw away.
Based on the video “How to Deal With Overconsumption and Overproduction” with Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman and Semion Vinokur. Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.