Ecotourism And Value Orientation
Our commercial society values the maximization of
material production and consumption as this is the necessary means that private firms can maximize their profits and governments can still manage to
harness the unemployment rate from rising quickly. Traveling from 5-star hotels to 5-star hotels is in fact a social trend promoted by capitalists and
governments rather than a genuine human need. People also simply lack the resource and means to think and act alternatively in terms of traveling. This artificially created value (the max. of production and consumption) make people alienate their genuine selves and act to fulfill those "invading values". One's value or status in the society is also judged by how much one produces and consumes materially, so people also usually take traveling as a means to establish their value or status in the society. They simply find it worrisome that other people will look down upon them if they have to admit that they haven't been to other places for several years. How can you really enjoy your travel if you have to go to 7 different places in 7 days and on the way you can only spend 10-20 minutes at each scenic spot? But this is usually the case when Hong Kong people join the touring groups. Why? They are alienated. This itinerary is not served to maximize their joy of traveling, but by doing so they can establish themselves quantitatively (I have been to so many places)!
This alienation gradually make people unable to adjust themselves as
well as the society to tackle problems facing us. Environmental crisis is one of them. Your diligent students are also mostly alienated. Their aim is not knowledge, but flying colours in their certificates. In the end, the meaning in the certificates is also the maximization of material production and consumption. When the invading values spread wide enough in the society, the public will in turn generate positive feedback back to the governments and capitalists, that is, the more the governments and capitalists promote the values, the better their goals can be achieved. The invading values are thus strengthened through interactions among the three: the source of power and authority--the government, entrepreneurship in the production sector, and the general public's value orientation. These three may be called the economic-political-cultural complex. This complex has mechanism of it's own. In order to live in this complex, human beings have to adapt and adjust their thinking and behavior, or in other negative words, to alienate themselves. And no matter whether we are willing to , all of us have to spend our lives in this complex. So, endless struggles around meaningless routines, extremely stressful life, etc., are the fate of modern human beings. We simply have no way to escape except dismantle or restructure this complex..
Experiments and theorizations to restructure or dismantle this complex has been under way for some years. Culturally we have the so called simple living movement, but as the modern society depends so much on increased spending and economic competition for its survival, is it any hope that this movement can gain ground in the economic- political-cultural complex? If you ask me, O.K., granted the existing difficulties, is it still any key switch by which I can press so that I can start to have a little positive influence on our Culture? I would say: Be authentic, that is, be true to your real self. How can we accomplish this as we have all been socialized to such degree?
Ward off those invading values: The goods and bads other people bestow upon you.
Look for your uncontaminated true self. If you could find your uncontaminated
true self, live with her.
I think this is the basic most founding philosophy of ecotourism as viewed by me. Since by going into the wilderness, guessing the history of some old remnants in the countryside, climbing hills and mountains, fording streams, searching high and low, following pathways (Some sayings are stolen from the song Climb Every Mountain), enjoying sunrises , sunsets and natural beauties, I can find my uncontaminated true self.