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It's cool to need stuff

Modern western culture downplays dependency on others, instead encouraging us to "do it ourselves." However, the strength and flexibility of an ecological system is measured by the number of "need relationships" it contains. Let's rebrand "need."

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Written by DeletedUser

In the 1970s, two Australians noticed the decline of species diversity in Tasmania. They studied various ecological systems and found the Amazon rainforest to be incredibly resistant to epidemics and climate change. Their studies revealed that the strongest, most flexible systems are those that have a huge number of need relationships between the elements of the system. This is the basis of modern Permaculture.

Today's western culture suffers from diminished community interdependence--low blood marrow donations are just one example. Part of this probably results from a culture that looks down on the "needy." This sort of attitude actually works against our productivity, efficiency, and happiness. It's about time that we rebrand "need" as an essential, healthy relationship that creates strong societies.

What if some positive, palatable examples of "need" were shared with the public, explaining how this helps resources flow through the system? What if we could successfully rebrand "need" to make it seem not only acceptable, but cool? The message of marrow donation and other campaigns would then benefit from a positive cultural zeitgeist.


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Photo of Sarah Fathallah

What an interesting take on this challenge, Jonathan!

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