In the last year I’ve had conversations with a number of contractors who are now doing other things, at least part time. Among them are Rocky Cozzo, who is distilling vodka (see the story: http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20131021/A_NEWS/310210311&cid=sitesearch)
I’ve also spoken to people who once earned a living building homes and commercial buildings that are now retraining to be firefighters, or who have opened businesses doing things like baking pastries.
By my reckoning, this may mean we are on our way to a very different, possibly better world. I realize there are some who believe that eternal economic growth is possible on a finite planet. But let’s just assume that maybe growth has limits and we are in a time of slow growth, or even a reduction in the amount of material stuff we can produce. This isn’t necessarily bad, although it is stressful for bankers who set up the monetary system to depend on growth.
Yes, there are fewer houses being built. That’s why the contractors are doing other things. But let’s think about what happens inside the houses we do have. More firefighters means less fear they’d burn down, and more trained hands to help when someone in a house gets injured. And if the former builders are now baking pastries and distilling vodka … well that seems like a win. Fewer roofs, but more feasting and parties under those roofs.
As I gather with my family on Christmas, I know that’s what I’ll be praying for: a world where we make do with the roofs we have and find love, joy and peace beneath those roofs.