This article approaches the topic of sustainability in a broad, interdisciplinary fashion − in the manner of our total footprint on the planet, not just our carbon footprint. It proposes to bring together the two allied areas of sustainability and spirituality in a dialectical manner, with ethics as a balancing force and spirituality playing the role of the proverbial invisible hand guiding our quest for sustainability. It takes the view that, in essence, spirituality and sustainability are vitally interlinked. When the spiritual dimension of our being is underdeveloped, we turn into pleasure-seeking automatons, plundering the planet in a mindless race called progress. This makes us self-centered and greedy for material wealth which leads to social disharmony and over-exploitation of natural resources. When we live a life of greater self-awareness, we tend to consume less and, more so, less mindlessly. With this understanding comes the liberating realization that there is no sustainability without spirituality.
For material development to be sustainable, spiritual advancement must be seen as an integral part of the human development algorithm. Our societies are human nature writ at large; therefore, we believe that the solution to society’s current chaos lies in the spiritual transformation of each one of us. The choice we face is between conscious change and chaotic annihilation. We believe that the most important eco-spirituality struggles will be won or lost during this decade. While policymakers and governments can play their respective roles, each one of us has to do our part by consciously adopting spirituality and sustainability as a way of life. Only an individual life rooted in the continuous harmony with nature − a life based on moral and spiritual awareness − can preserve the sanctity of the planet.
Dhiman, Satinder K.
"Ethics and Spirituality of Sustainability: What Can We All Do?,"
The Journal of Values-Based Leadership:
1, Article 11.
Available at: http://scholar.valpo.edu/jvbl/vol9/iss1/11