The Route to Responsible Living: Doubting, Discovering, Daring and Doing
Dramatic changes have characterized many decades, but the transformations of the past thirty years have forced individuals as well as governments and businesses to question many of the choices people make and to revise existing definitions of human prosperity and happiness. Climate change, life-style related illnesses, and environmental degradation are growing concerns which have led to calls for greater collaboration and social justice and have fueled the search for alternative ways of living.
... ive ways of living. "Development", implying unlimited material and economic growth, is no longer the panacea it once was believed to be. "Social responsibility" now encompasses a far wider set of people affected by a person's lifestyle choices than in the past. "Sufficiency", the condition where one's basic needs are met, has yet to become more equitable than minimal survival for many and luxury existence for a select few. There have been many participants in the processes of rethinking and reorienting the path humanity is following. The Partnership for Education and Research about Responsible Living (PERL) has made significant contributions. This article looks at the evolution of concepts related to sustainable development. It reflects on some of the developments within education connected to sustainable development and it examines briefly available evidence of changes in behavior. The results of this limited research and other more extensive investigations indicate that while a paradigm shift appears to be taking place, there is still a continued need for transformation of our inner lives and outer conditions in order to achieve a more dynamic coherence between the material and non-material aspects of life leading to responsible, sustainable living.