What is a good life? Philosophy and literature from all time periods and parts of the world hold many answers to this question. Yet, it is also a matter we are confronted with on a daily basis: What is a good life for me personally? How to strike a balance between professional and material success, family time and intensity of personal relations, and the search for insight and experiences; and between having and being?
These are personal questions and values, yet they are rooted in and form the roots of social relations at large: which values rank highest in a society; what informs our appreciation of others; and what guides political decisions? What is the social cost of my own lifestyle for the global South, the global North and future generations?
This is why a good life is inextricably linked to a just life – a lifestyle with minimal social and ecological externalities, which leaves a positive mark instead; a good life with benefits for me and the world; where we reconsider the value time and space, property and markets. The motto “slower, less, better, more beautiful” could take the place of “further, faster, more”. This is a life of rich relations and few resources, a life which allows me to live in harmony with myself.
Let us speak about sufficiency and sufficiency politics to enable more people to discover sufficiency for themselves and champion policies which allow for us to live a good and just life.
This story guide is meant to prepare you so that you may interest others in topics related to sufficiency, engage in interesting discussions and respond to counter-arguments. Part 1 – communication tips – provides practical recommendations on attitude and tone to be adopted in a good conversation. Part 2 introduces the “Elevator Pitch” to encourage you to outline what sufficiency is in a nutshell to someone who has never heard of it before, in a conversation which only lasts about one elevator ride. In part 3 – titled “smart responses to critical questions” – you will be equipped with answers to the most common counterarguments in order to be able steer the conversation back to your core messages. Part 4 offers a practical guide to the “Literature” of sufficiency and sufficiency politics.