I am distraught by the environmental catastrophes, unstoppable greed, paralysis of governments, and ferocious hatred of terrorists who kill blindly in the name of God. I am saddened by the neglect of our children and the disregard for small creatures of the earth. I am distraught by the people who have become crippled by complacency and fettered by fear.
While I remain highly optimistic about the future, I can’t deny that our global community is dealing with environmental issues in a manner that seems more like a high-stakes game of Russian roulette rather than a deliberate, integrated strategy. From the inept responses to the natural disasters that have afflicted us, to the political warfare that has been waged over comprehensive energy and climate strategies, we just can’t seem to get it right.
Oberlin College professor David Orr writes, “Imagine a tribunal of all species sitting in judgment over Homo sapiens charged to rule on our fitness to remain on Earth based on our behavior over the past ten thousand years. How we would we judged? Other than the votes of the cockroaches, crows, and any number of viruses, the motion to evict us would win by a large margin.”
In a world where even the concept of hope has become politicized, how can the average person implement real change? How can we break through an outdated, ineffective mold that was created decades ago but no longer is applicable for our industry, our economy, or our natural world? How do we turn change from something scary into something aspirational and achievable? And perhaps most importantly, how do we create a language that allows us to effectively communicate not just to those who are aligned with us, but also to those who hold different truths?
At times, it feels easier to stick our head in the sand rather than take action. But inaction is simply not an acceptable answer. Dissention is the key to change—it paves the way to innovation, transformation, and renovation. To break through our paralysis, we must overcome our fear of change, even though leadership often comes at a high price.
We all strive to live meaningfully. But that’s not enough anymore. A truly sustainable life involves more—it requires the revelation that we are a part of a natural community for which we hold an undeniable responsibility. How we live, what we produce and consume, and how we treat the creatures and ecosystems around us are not negligible choices. Rather, they determine the condition of our world.
Have ideas about how we can jump into a sustainable future? Write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow me on Twitter @SaraGBM.
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Posted: 6/14/2012 12:03:33 PM by
Mary Kestner | with 0 comments