A few years ago we hired a bright young man who left our company after only three short months. He decided that he didn't want to work as much, and proposed to work less hours for less pay (which didn't work for us at the time).
There is a new set of values around, and it's quality-of-life based. The younger generation, of which many did not vote in this past election because they did not feel heard, has a different set of values from the profit-based, fast-paced, career-track oriented hustle for the next promotion and bigger salary of the twentieth century. The new values are not about chasing the next buck, but about a better quality of life, sustainability, trust and transparency, as well as sharing, cooperation and creating community.
We get a glimpse of these new values in the many grassroots movements that are popping up everywhere: deeper awareness about food issues (such as veganism, reduction of food waste by way of redistribution, organics, the local food movement); increasing awareness of social values (fair trade movement, raising the minimum wage, shorter work hours); the many environmental organizations, whether awareness raising or preserving land for future generations; transparency (such as promoted by Wiki Leaks) and pricing information available on the internet; free sharing of music, education, and information on the internet. Skills and things are shared and swapped, without the exchange of money, in hour exchanges, seed exchanges, repair cafés, tool libraries, cooperatives of all kinds, clothing and book swaps, and via Freecycle. Some communities are experimenting with local currencies, some employers with job sharing, flex time, paternity leave, summer hours, and more time off.
In an earlier blog post I introduced the Cultural Creatives, the name Ray and Anderson gave to these people, including myself and many of us, who share these values. Know that these impulses are glimpses of a new cultural-economic model breaking through from underneath. It's incredibly exciting to know we are part of something bigger, and that we are experiencing this shift to new values in real time.