In a recent post on this blog I posed the thought that maybe the cost to society of the abuse of alcohol was no longer worth the ‘rewards’ it is claimed by consumers to bring to it/them. (a hard point to argue against with the many, many victims and families of those victims who have suffered a grievous alcohol-related loss).

I believe that humanity and each individual is capable of finding a better substitute than alcohol in their lives.

But then I got to thinking on an even wider level….

What would I ( you?) be prepared to give up completely if it could be shown that your ‘pleasure’ was resulting in a dramatic negative effect on a significant number of other individuals…? or on other creatures who had no say in the matter?

Say, for instance, your thirst for an early morning, mind opening coffee was resulting world wide in a massive deforestation of previously untouched natural vegetation and threatening one or multiple species of life’s existance? Could you willingly sacrifice that cup of Joe for the sake of an orangutan? Of ALL Orangutans? Would you if you could and it did indeed preserve a species?

Of course one individual giving up caffeine in a liquid hit may not stop extinction from happening, BUT the massive thirst world wide for the addiction ( we go through caffeine withdrawal if we stop drinking for a few days!) certainly results in the need to grow more and more of the stuff which does indeed mean removal of large chunks of some species required ecosystem.

Or how about the real root cause.. Having babies? It has been shown that the countries with the highest number of educated individuals generally have the lowest birth rates in terms of children per family. Largely the planet’s overpopulation problems are the result of those countries with the poorest (lowest attended) education systems. However the land area required in order to maintain the average Western family is massively more than the average undeveloped nation’s family even though the latter has more members on average.

Would you ever consider limiting your family to two children?

Would you find ways to improve education in a Third World nation to reduce our total population?

Do you do nothing and hope science comes up with answers to these problems in time?

Just what would you sacrifice/give up in order that our planet continue to find a safe equilibrium?

Or is it a case of: “As long as I am ok at the moment i’ll go on doing what I always did – why should I do anything different?”

Maybe it’s a matter of finding out?

Then believing that what each one of us does can affect others in either positive or negative ways – and that they will undoubtedly come back to us, later and perhaps seriously magnified.

That’s a good thing if we act towards a positive ultimate goal, but a bad thing if we do the opposite or keep on doing what most of us have been doing.

Can you sacrifice for the Greater Good?

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