The imposed standards of success demand excessive consumption. Where striving for this fac ¸ade of success becomes venerated, difference becomes shunned and moves towards sustainable habits are met with resistance and conflict (Louw, 1995). To extract oneself from dominant social messages requires knowledge and skills of another way. However, healthy alternatives are inadequately considered or are people’s talents adequately applied to devise sustainable practices. The aforementioned study on stewardship highlighted factors that contribute to the atrophy of sharing skills. This atrophy of stewardship skills is summarized in Table I. Many gaps have been identified between the articulation and application of values. All institutions play roles, with varying outcomes, that enable or impede progress towards sustainability. Multiple impediments arise that thwart intentions to live with integrity and generosity. Where there are humans, there too are value-action gaps. IJSHE 8,2 108
For example, David Orr stated that, “schools in America turn out the best kind of planetary vandals” (Holdgate, 1996). Further, Clugston and Calder (1999) warn that institutes of higher learning are deeply involved in providing expertise for an “unsustainable” world economy. As well, many corporations have been found to contribute to unsustainable production and inequitable social practices. Simply stated, people all over the world, are similarly threatened by human rights abuses, lack of enforcement of environmental protection and labor standards are confronting powerful multinationals and national corporations. There is a movement to make government and corporations more accountable to the people (Henderson, 1999; Klein, 2000; Starry, 2000). Those privileged, live well. Retaining privileged status requires fortification. One fortifying factor is the means to orchestrate campaigns of misinformation. Media serve primarily to entertain or inform rather than to enlighten. The selective positioning of issues and stories by media and other interest groups enable the impact of the privileged peoples of the world to be effectively distorted (Wallis, 1994). As a component of the misinformation campaign, media dissuade people from exercising deep, conscious thought. Thus, reflection on the impact of life habits is not “top of mind” and consequently, no adjustments are made to indulgent, unsustainable habits (Kollmuss and Agyeman, 2002). Clearly, sustainability gaps arise due to a complex blend of factors. Table II provides a summary of the gaps and proposed remedies. If integrated into practice these stewardship remedies could hasten the pace and accelerate progress towards, rather than away from, sustainable development. The lack of sustainable practices reveals ubiquitous value-action gaps. Peter Ellyard (2001) in Ideas for a New Millennium suggested that significant transitions are essential in this time. Educators, governments, along with other agents of socialization, might help move societal emphasis from individualism to communitarianism; from an emphasis on independence to one of interdependence; from a position of command and
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- Fall '18
- DR MAAME ADWOA GYEKYE JANDO
- I, Rigoberta Menchu