In Genesis, Adam and Eve made a blunder and God expelled them from the garden. Since then, people have tried to reconcile this tragedy with their needs for better future outcomes. This has led to several large-scale societal movements.
Religion: Find a way to rebuild the relationship with God. Perhaps he will let us back into the garden and then all will be well. So far failing.
Socialism: If we cannot find a way to get back into the garden by God’s forgiveness, perhaps we can rely on our fellows to provide us with something better. Universally failed, so far.
Capitalism: This device is two sided. Things that provide value are rewarded while things that do not produce value are destroyed. Governments, particular the ones that have not given up on socialism yet, see the destruction side to be wrong and try to prevent it. Good luck with that. You would have a better chance to teach a cow to be a race horse. Unlimited capitalism may not be perfect but it generally fails as a concept only when the successful operators try to turn it into a feudal system or when authorities try to bend it from its real goals. There is still hope here but only with enlightened limitations.
Environmentalism: If we cannot get what we needs from our fellows or from the markets, and God shows no inclination to let us back in, then maybe we need to look to the garden itself for salvation. The book is still open on this one, but as solutions go, it does not look promising.
Atheism: This requires the same kind of faith as religion. No one can prove a negative so believing God does not exist is the same deal as believing He does. It is about faith. Only the subject matter is different. So far, a lot of junk science but not a lot of progress towards bettering our condition.
Possibly it is time to just suck it up. We were evicted. Move on.
If we worked harder at being better people, building for the future instead of for current consumption, and we took better care of what we have and who we know, things could be better. Certainly not worse.
As a final option, try holding reasonable expectations unconditioned by what others may have or do. How often do we hear words to this effect. “I am thankful for my blessings, but then I see people with better blessings and that pisses me off.” The key to personal growth and enjoying it, is gratitude. Jealousy and covetousness seldom provide much growth or motivation.
Art Williams reputedly advised his sales people:
“All that you can do is all that you can do and all that you can do must be enough.”
You need to decide what “enough” is and what “all that you can do” is. Don’t be too easy on yourself. There are lots of people who think they are working hard and effectively, but they are just looking busy.
There are no shortcuts to curing the garden eviction problem.
Don Shaughnessy is a retired partner in an international accounting firm and is presently with The Protectors Group, a large personal insurance, employee benefits and investment agency in Peterborough Ontario. firstname.lastname@example.org