Lifework: Meaningful Careers in the Emerging Sustainable Society

At the rate we’re going, it will be slim-pickin’s for our
progeny. Modern living cannot sustain itself at current natural
resource consumption levels. This is the concern that stokes the
fire in the belly of a growing segment of the populace — those
choosing to devote their life’s work to finding sustainable
solutions for

every sector of society
(of which there are precisely 17:
health, food, shelter, clothing, energy, community,
science/technology, and education among others.) These individuals
are packing up their cubicles in search of sustainable
opportunities that will give their life meaning and jive with their
personal and political values.

Linda Buzzell-Saltzman, psychotherapist and career counselor,
explains that each of the 17 sectors of society is in some stage of
transition in the unsustainable/sustainable continuum. Sectors that
have moved forward include the development of green building, the
integration of alternative healthcare into westernized medicine,
the harnessing of sustainable wind energy, and the amalgamation of
ecopsychology.

Buzzell-Saltzman emphasizes a need to change ourselves before we
change our occupation asking us to consider what means most to us
in our lives. What matters, Buzzell-Saltzman finds, are our
relationships with others, our health, shared resources, creative
expression, and contribution to the whole, not more stuff.

The first step on this journey, says Buzzell-Saltzman, is to
make your own life sustainable, which may mean getting out of debt,
making a vocational leap, or shutting off the TV, which seduces
consumerism. Also, paring down the excesses in our lives will allow
more time and energy devoted to more meaningful and enjoyable
activities.

The groundwork has been laid by visionaries such as Gandhi, Dr.
King, and the Dalai Lama for a progression toward a society that is
sustainable. With the help of individuals from all lifestyles who
place meaningfulness before profit, nature before consumerism, and
other people before themselves, Buzzell-Saltzman says this goal is
attainable.
Marca Bradt

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Lifework:
Meaningful Careers in the Emerging Sustainable Society

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