SHIFT – verb: change, alter, adjust, vary; modify, revise, reverse, retract; do a U-turn.
ETHOS – noun: the characteristic spirit of a culture, era, or community as manifested in its beliefs and aspirations
SHIFT ETHOS is an organization hoping to bring about a desperately needed shift in consciousness and the way we currently view the world. Our mission is to elevate society’s awareness of the profound effect our current standard of living and way of doing business is having on the sustainability of the planet and its viability as a life support system for all of us.
The wealthiest, largest, most powerful, and most influential institution on Earth is business and industry. Our current world-wide economic model is one that is predicated on our cannibalizing the very planet that provides for us, in the race to constantly bring new and innovative products to market and gain market share. The ecological footprint or ecological deficit industry creates by failing to manufacture and recycle in ways that would sustain the environment and the Earth’s life support systems is rarely considered. As a result, corporations and industry have become an instrument of destruction to the natural world, eventually impoverishing all of us with this methodology of doing business, since manufacturing and industrial practices are not only depleting resources like ocean fisheries, rain forests, and soil health, but what is taken from the natural world is not replaced or easily replenished.
Today we are seeing the largest species die off in 65 million years. Every day approximately 20 more species go extinct as a result of our destruction of their habitats. In the last 150 years, since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, mankind has brought about the extinction of 54% of the world’s animal species and has removed 67% of the world’s forests. In a world where we are adding 217,000 people to the planet every single day, one does not need to be a mathematician to figure out the way we are living on the planet is not sustainable.
We live in a culture steeped and predicated almost entirely on entertainment, personal gratification, and consumption vs. sustainability. For most, our sense of self worth is based on our ability to integrate ourselves into our current system of commerce, accumulate capital, monetary wealth, status symbols, and material possessions. We’ve turned LIFE into a competitive money sport, where human responsibility has been reduced down to almost one thing only . . . making money. If we make money, we get to participate in the game of life. If we don’t, we get to stand at the end of an off ramp or a busy intersection and plead for others to help us by providing us with money.
It’s fascinating, when one considers the juxtaposed and incongruent beliefs we hold as a society. We really live in two completely dichotomous worlds that are completely at odds with one another.
One, is the natural world that provides for us at the biological level of our physiological needs by providing us with oxygen to breathe, food to eat, and water to drink. The other world is the world of commerce and economics, which involves utilizing the planet’s resources to bring products to market for consumption by consumers.
Driving commerce is the exchange of currency which demands that each individual participating in the system, earns money in exchange for their time. And therein lies the issue. TIME. Who has time to worry about environmental issues?
This singular focus on “earning a living” to make money, has caused our focus to move away from a sense of community where a sense of cooperation was revered, to becoming very competitive, egocentric, self-serving, and protective of our own self-interests, with very little time to concern ourselves with others that lie outside of our immediate family or group of friends. As a result we develop a very myopic and limited perspective of the world around us and sadly, our impact on it.
Society’s concern with respect to our destruction of the natural world, is negligible at best primarily because it’s hidden from us. It’s not spoken about nor does it receive media coverage, because there’s no profitability in sustainability, only consumption which necessitates the continual need for more “production.” In a world where we are provided with a never ending stream of distractions to divert our attention and awareness away from our impact on the natural world, we’re immersed in a reality that only dimly reflects the “real” state of the world we’re living in. We’ve learned to accept the “status quo” while continuing to conduct “business as usual.” Retail therapy, sports, and media entertainment have become the opiates of our time, anesthetizing us from the harsh reality of how much the Earth is in decline.
Despite the fact that environmental concepts such as “sustainability” are slowly starting to filter into the mainstream vernacular, society’s current level of understanding, regarding our impact on the ecosystems that we draw from to feed our economy is lacking tremendously. Our current economic model, driven by the pressures of a global marketplace, perpetuates the well documented and stupefying decline and destruction of the natural world along with the disappearance of those species inhabiting the various ecosystems that are being destroyed.
Understanding the “ecology of commerce” and our role in preserving the planet, as opposed to an unaccountable, narrow focus on our personal advancement and the gains on Wall Street, is paramount in preserving the planet for future generations to inherit. Our current business model is not sustainable, ecologically or economically.
SHIFT ETHOS represents a movement advocating, a deeper understanding of ourselves, our connection to the Earth, better individual, better business, and better industrial practices that promote the sustainability of the Earth’s life support systems, the protection of all species that we share the planet with, and abandoning industry’s pervasive destruction of the planet.
In addition, we hope to dissolve the identification with labels that serve only to separate us, and shift from individualism and self-aggrandizing interests, back to those traits that made us the most successful species on the planet . . . cooperation, love, and empathy for one another. Despite popular belief, where we on a very superficial level associate ourselves with labels of religion, politics, nationalities, race, color, etc., there’s only one race, the Human Race, and “we’re all in it together.”
“Love and Light to all on your path of discovery in the journey we are taking together in this three dimensional classroom called LIFE.”
All the Best,