Growth is Good

I’m continuously perplexed when I meet people who talk about growth like it’s a bad thing. I’m referring to those individuals/groups I’ve met that are always talking about boundaries and limits to growth.

To me it seems that we are asking the question, how do we stop growing? I don’t see that it is growth itself that is a problem. Nature itself is in constant evolution. Animals, plants, natural life is continuously experiencing change and growth. As humanity the question we should be asking is what are we growing towards? What is our goal as mankind? And then we should be looking at how we are achieving that goal and what indicators we are using to measure our progress towards our goal.

The fact that we talk about sustainable development is an indication that the system we have built is not the right one. Growth and development should be inherently sustainable. We can see this in nature; nature is constantly growing and developing and if it had not been sustainable then we wouldn’t have a planet to live on right now!

So instead of looking at growth and saying it’s bad; let’s instead examine the problem a bit closer to see what the real problem is.

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2 Responses to Growth is Good

  1. Dave Gardner says:

    If you’re hinting at the desirability and sustainability of personal growth, of growth of knowledge or sprituality, of kindness, peace and understanding, I am with you. If you are seeking sustainable ways to keep physically expanding humankind’s presence on the planet, you’ve lost me. No way, Jose. Population growth – no. Urban expansion – no. Economic expansion – probably not, unless we can figure out a way to disconnect economic growth from resource extraction and depletion. Just my two cents’ worth!

    Dave Gardner
    Hooked on Growth: Our Misguided Quest for Prosperity

  2. admin says:

    Hi Dave,

    What I was referring to in the post was more about the allergy that some people seem to have to the word growth. It’s not so much growth itself, it is about what is growing. So with respect to population growth I agree it doesn’t seem to make sense that we just add another 3 billion people to this planet in the next 20 years (or even less! :S) What I do wish though is that people look at what we are growing towards and the conditions/context in which that growth is taking place – rather than immediately brushing it off. At least what I’ve found is that when people hear the word growth some automatically link it to something bad (like greed).

    I believe what matters most is how growth and the goal link together and that both are important. When we brush off growth as bad it can lead to us not being able to see the possibility of creating a new way of living on this planet – one in which the goal of our growth is different.

    Thanks for your comment!

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