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October 09, 2005


Jerry Stifelman

I think this is a valuable insight. I've noticed that people's notions of what they will spend time on is linked to what the culture values (value being determined by social acceptance). For example, many people I know who don't have time to hike, cook healthy food or take the extra steps to recycle and reuse, somehow DO have the time to watch a couple of hours of TV nightly. I don't think it's simply the fact that TV is "relaxing." It's that TV is socially sanctioned. They know other people are doing it. They know they'll have conversations about it, etc. If we can move sustainable behaviors into this realm, I think it will change things quite a bit.

Lance Funston

Of course we feel pressed for time. We're Americans. Every middle-class person I know is running faster and faster on the hamster wheel to avoid having the whole house of cards that is modern life crash in on them.

If you stop running here in the U.S. you can very quickly find yourself deep in debt and falling out of the middle class. THere are many decent hardworking people in America who are "one paycheck away from poverty".

Our lifestyles require a lot of money, and to get it we have to work hard to support it. I am striving personally for more simplicity, but I'm definitely not there yet.

If we used less, shared more, and had more of a European style safety net you might see more of us relaxing at sidewalk cafes. But until them...

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