real growth and happiness

good things grow in ontario

i was reminded recently that there’s a difference between growing things and making things.

for example, a sculptor makes a sculpture by starting with a block of stone and chipping away from the outside in.

conversely, an apple-tree grows an apple by starting with a blossom and turns the blossom into a seed which becomes an apple (and maybe a tree) from the inside out.

erin and marc grew the karma marketplace in penetang from the seed of an idea and have planted it in the community.

this year (2012-2013) karma will change fundamentally from a competitive business to a co-operative link in the chain from grower (such as 10 fold farms) through distributor (such as karma) to customer (such as you).

now it’s up to the community to grow, and not just karma.

for example, how can we grow to be more of an omnidirectional web rather than a unidirectional chain, cycling back from customer to grower not just dollars but ‘waste’ (ie, unwanted nutrients) too?

or how can we grow the model or pattern so that more penetangers get their needs cooperatively?

for that matter, why just penetang? why not, say, midland?

real growth comes not from money, which is really just a medium for exchange, but real things.

gross national happiness

we can measure progress with finite things, like gold or diamonds or oil (which offer limited happiness) or we can choose infinite things (and unlimited happiness), like making friends or being creative or striving for political freedom.

in 1971, bhutan, nestled in the himalayas between china and india, rejected the idea of gross domestic product as the measure of progress, and instead focused on gross national happiness.

it is the subject of the film, the economics of happiness.

david suzuki writes that ‘world leaders took the concept seriously enough to hold a United Nations Conference on Happiness in April 2012, and Bhutan was recognized for its environmental leadership at the recent UN climate summit in Doha, Qatar.’

but there is more to happiness than environmental leadership.

according to research for the UN Conference on Happiness, ‘political freedom, strong social networks and an absence of corruption are together more important than income,’ the researchers write.

they continue: ‘at the individual level, good mental and physical health, someone to count on, job security and stable families are crucial.’

do we make happiness or do we grow it?

ohhh…. and diana krall wanted to play jazz cuz of this song

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