Question: What is your question?
Dan Gilbert: People ask me what I’ve learned from studying how people think about the future. And one of the things I learned is that the best way to know whether you’ll want to do something in the future is to ask yourself whether you want to do it today. But the same is true for paying costs. Right now we are a society that is experiencing many benefits and pushing the costs for those benefits off into the future. We should ask ourselves every time we experience a benefit if we would be willing to pay the cost if we had to pay it today. And I think the answer – in human terms, and in environmental terms – is often “no”. We feel free to do things today because we don’t have to think about their consequences until tomorrow. The question we should always be asking ourselves is, “Would I do this if I had to pay for it now?”
Recorded on: 6/12/2007