Climate Change: A Case for Contentment

by Alireza Nurbakhsh

There is very little disagreement among scientists that we are heading towards a major disaster if we continue to exploit the earth as we have been, and that this disaster may include the mass extinction of human beings. Assuming for the moment that the effect of global warming is still reversible and assuming further that preservation of human beings is a desirable outcome, the question is how can we achieve these things?  We need to change our attitude about the purpose of life: that we are not here to consume, accumulate and possess at the expense of the destruction of the planet and depriving future generations of a clean and habitable environment. This change comes about through the realization that contentment is not achievable through consumption and possession of goods, for the simple reason that our appetite for consumption and possession can never be satisfied.

The Sufis’ answer is that contentment is possible through unconditional love and kindness towards others. This approach may be counter-intuitive as most people believe contentment is achieved by taking steps to satisfy our own desires and wishes. How could loving-kindness and service to others result in contentment? Sufism is a practical school and the Sufis have said time and again that the only way to find out is by practicing loving-kindness. READ MORE

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