I keep thinking that a lot of our "traditional values" need to be updated and in many cases changed. Our technology has changed since ancient times while many of our old moral values have not.
Much of our values have come from times of austerity, like ancient times, when life expectancy was much shorter. There needed to be lots of procreation to maintain the population as death often came early.
Hard work and hoarding material things was a survival skill in difficult times when food and basic needs were hard to come by.
Now we have technology that can make life easier, but many people still act as if running on a treadmill. People are working themselves to burnout while eating to obesity. Some folks are building and hoarding in a time when our footprint on the planet is so strong that we threaten our survival with too much abundance and overpopulation.
We are still running a rat race as if we have to do this for our mere survival, As if basic needs require this. With today's technology and over 7 billion people on the planet, we do need to change.
Conditions in the wealthier parts of the world, such as USA, are still different than much of the Third World, which also adds to the problem. Survival needs in much of the world are still spartan which continues to drive ethics based on running the treadmill for survival. At the same time, some folks, in the Third World, are extremely wealthy; such as oligarchs in both poor and rich nations alike. Oligarchs so often set the pace, where ever they reside.
In some ways, we need to relax more, but society, and some say capitalism, is set up to keep us on that treadmill.
Looking back, I think we needed to be on that treadmill more as things didn't come as easy in pre technological times, but today, we have a different set of problems.
Even abolishing capitalism isn't really the answer. As long as our old values and cultures remain, we will find a way to run the rat race, whatever system we create. We need to look deeper. It's our cultures based on ancient times that are the problem.
Some old ideas and traditions are fine, but we need to update, somehow. I also believe that achievement, work and things like scientific progress are good. Our constant curiosity and wish to make a better life for ourselves and future generations is good, but we need to update cultural assumptions, traditions and our expectations. I keep thinking about quality of life versus lots of possessions.
Technology does often allow for sophistication with less consumption. I think of the transistor versus burning wood or needing to have a horse. How much hay does the horse eat compared to the electricity used in a transistor? Think about comparing the transistor to the vacuum tube in terms of power consumption.
We need to let go of so much of our baggage that came from times before most lifespans were as long as they are now. We need to update our ethics to beyond the era where it required more brute force to survive.