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The following is an excerpt from Rosie von Lila’s forthcoming book FELLOW HUMAN: Essays on Mass Human Flourishing.
Fellow human, the riches of human flourishing are your birthright. The mass cultural default of separation, loneliness, and disregard for Life cannot survive amidst the proliferation of mass human flourishing. Biologically speaking, every living being exists to flourish before we languish and perish. To flourish is to cultivate your excellence as a human being.
The expanding academic field of holistic human flourishing is promising for our kind. Various definitions in the discovery of flourishing continue to arise, seeking to summarize a highly complex and subjective state of being. I offer this contribution: Human flourishing emerges when most of the areas of your life work sufficiently for you according to you, and you’ve gained the skills for resilience to navigate tough times.
Human flourishing is not that everything in your life is great all the time. No one experiences that for any sustained period! Rather, human flourishing is a present moment phenomenon. Flourishing is dynamic — an experience that undulates from moment to moment. Some days are joyous peak experiences. Others require your perseverance in practicing resiliency.
Mass Human Flourishing is a paradox. However, here we paint a possibility for all human beings. This is the endeavor of new stories to live into now. Many speak of creating “a better future.” But most overlook that human flourishing happens in the now. What does a world of human flourishing look like? Bill Mollison, inventor of permaculture theory, is credited with teaching us that although the puzzles of the world are ever more complex, the solutions continue to remain embarrassingly simple.
In a world of Human Flourishing, every human experiences the opportunity to earn and generate the Seven Ingredients for a Life of Human Flourishing.
Ingredient One: Meet Basic Needs Healthfully with Dignity
Through the expenditure of energy, every human accesses clean air and clean water, nourishing nutrition that supports flourishing, shelter that provides warmth and protection, and security that provides some level of certainty and consistency in supplying the other basic needs. Basic Needs Systems are designed and operated to value, respect, and care for all of Life.
Ingredient Two: Belonging
Individual human flourishing requires the experience of belonging to place and to people throughout life’s stages. Belonging is dynamic across time, in different places with different people at different times. Mass human flourishing is made possible by expanding circles of empathy to include belonging to the human race and belonging to The Land. Belonging begets caring reciprocity through which all Life can flourish.
Ingredient Three: Access The Forms of Care Essential to Flourishing
Essential care supports the full spectrum of a human life: prenatal to postnatal care, mental healthcare, physical healthcare, appropriate physical touch and affection, childcare, community support after tragedy and trauma, eldercare, and end-of-life care.
Ingredient Four: Earn an Education That Nurtures Curiosity and Passion
Lifelong learning makes flourishing possible. Supporting children’s natural curiosity and encouraging emergent passions lays the groundwork for adulthood that beneficially engages with and contributes to the world. Human flourishing requires diverse education paths tailored to personal passions.
Ingredient Five: Be Creative and Explore “Puzzles” in Life and Community
“Puzzles” are infinitely presented to individuals, communities, and humanity to endeavor through. Endeavoring on and solving meaningful puzzles satisfies, and builds confidence. Exploring grand and minor puzzles through applied imagination and invention unlocks the doors to human flourishing.
Ingredient Six: Endeavor and Achieve in Personally Meaningful Ways
How time, mental effort, and physical effort are invested determines flourishing. In human flourishing, endeavoring is a personal choice. Endeavor can be artistic or scientific, intuitive or technical, paid or unpaid, or a pleasing mix of contrasting categories. Meaningful endeavor and achievement emerges from self-determination, curiosity, engaging with “puzzles,” and being a contribution.
Ingredient Seven: Be a Contribution in Personally Meaningful Ways
How one contributes reinforces how one belongs. Contribution is gifted to something bigger than the individual. Contribution builds communal effort.
The Seven Ingredients together create the fruitfulness from which the Riches of Human Flourishing are made. Like baking delicious bread, no essential Ingredient can be excluded in generating flourishing. Please keep in mind: There is no long-term mass human flourishing without planetary flourishing. Human flourishing is dependent upon our planet’s. When caring and empathy are the foundation of culture, care of the land and its creatures are inseparable from human flourishing. Practicing the Ingredients makes available the Riches of Human Flourishing.