I can not possibly imagine beginning this post any other way either than saying this:
JOHN IS A LEGEND. NON-NEGOTIABLE FACT.
If you’re wondering who “John” is, well, he is our contributor for this past week. He is a wonder of the sustainability world as well as a father, grand-pa and father-in-law to some of our YIP family.
He is funny, courageous and knows what he’s talking about. He managed to have a healthy balance between humour and seriousness. He has worked in a lot of different places – both physically and conceptually.
Here is a mini biography hosted on the YIP page.
This week we tackled different aspects of the topic of sustainability. We looked at climate change, we looked at what we could do to assist the battle towards the better health of our earth, we looked at scientific facts and their place in the debate (it’s good to throw some numbers and facts in the mix, and equally crucial to know when to do so), we examined the concept of planetary boundaries, we also looked at and discussed sustainability with a focus on food security, health, energy, human well-being, transport, consumption and the repercussions related to these topics.
We were also asked to bring forth what we view as an ideal planet and way of life for all beings. Without any restrictions. A powerful aspect which asks us to re-think and re-imagine what our lives could be like.
The best part of this week is that we didn’t just discuss, and envision, we acted. We were invited to take on the challenge of designing a sustainable community. Using real life existing communities, this brought the ideas and approaches from our head space to the ground. Something I thoroughly appreciate.
In addition to the above, there is a magical genie that keeps presenting us with real-life opportunities to test our beliefs and bring forth what we are learning about. A Burger King store was opened in Järna. If you have ever been to this place or even have any idea what this place strives to be about and like, you will understand how out of place this is (even only in concept) and yet they are here. A couple of us went over there and spoke to the manager and the director of Burger King – Sweden. We took our organic food from here and ate it in the store. Great moment. A lot of words were exchanged and I’m looking forward to observing how this will all unfold. I am especially proud of Phil (my friend, housemate and fellow Yippie for being so level-headed during the conversation) Big ups! I am still deciding what my personal role in this is. Perhaps to merely observe and take from this what I need in order to continue.
Better yet, we were asked on Friday to draw up personal action plans. What are we commiting to doing? I really loved this, I feel that humanity often blames “the big guys” because we can, because they are visible and obvious culprits, because they have a fiscal profit we are aware of, because it is easy to point a finger.It is always good to come back to the realisation that we are humanity, each and every single one of us makes up what we call humanity. We are the culprits. All of us. We contribute to the mess. Similarly, we hold the power to contribute to the several options of alternative solutions.
The “big guys” are a result of our desires, a reflection of who we are and what we are doing. They respond to what we want. Whether it be a fashionable item of clothing or a delicious burger. Offcourse, I agree with the idea that they do brainwash us into wanting those things even more, however we have the freedom (however difficult and seemingly impossible) to look the other way and choose a different way or to create another way; both individually and collectively.
WE ARE NOT POWERLESS.
So I end this post by asking this.
Are you doing anything that is causing harm to our current existence and to the existence of those to follow us?
Is it possible to stop doing that which you acknowledged and see in the above question to be causing the harm?
What are the alternatives to this which you are currently doing?
What are you willing to do towards contributing to a better place for those to come after us?
Sustainable lifestlyes are created and contributed to by “you”, “him”, “her”, “them”, “they”. WE and US. And ME.
(An aside: This week brought me face to face with another kind of sustainability that I need to work on – Sustaining myself in order to be able to give better, do better and be better. I missed 2 days of class, due to taxing conversations and situations. What can I do better in order to continue in a more healthy way?)
A great week of learning, growing, examining and doing.
Course Rating 8/10