Being human is messy. I’ve been following the recent events in Syria, and my heart is broken on the stories of the people torn apart by war. There are no winners in conflicts such as these. This reminds me that we, as a species, are in our infancy. We are figuring out what it means to be human and how we live and make our planet Earth work. We are a confident animal. With our big brains, we often showcase a hefty amount of pride and self-confidence. It wasn’t too long ago that the general scientific consensus was that the solar system revolved around Earth. Now we have a richer understanding of just how small we are in the universe. Our continued scientific advances only uncover greater mysteries and more questions about a fascinating and magnificent universe and our place in it — questions like “What is dark matter?” and “Could life exist somewhere else and what would that look like?”
The quote at the top of this post was one I put in my first blog post for the I2SD class, “It isn’t easy being green.” I think it’s an exciting and meaningful mindset to have as I progress through my coursework and life. We are part of something bigger — a larger system if you will. I believe we shouldn’t have a mindset of permanence. However, we should have a sense of connection and work to understand those natural and human systems to create thrivable places for life.
We also have work to do.
I want to continue to make personal change, which started in this class. The 30-day challenge was a great start to thinking about how to do that (no new for 30 days). Ultimately, my kids are my primary pursuit in life. I want to be an example to them for how to live a full life and how to value what matters. Growing up, I was a Boy Scout and we had a rule: “Always leave the campground cleaner than you found it.” If you found a mess, you cleaned it up regardless of who might have made it. I think we need more of that type of thinking in business, schools, politics, and sustainability.
I want to find connections locally to figure out how I can contribute to change at my work and in my profession. I hope to use what I have learned about frameworks (The Natural Step and Triple Bottom Line) and certifications (FSC, B-Corp, and Living Product Challenge) to push forward structured sustainability that educates just as much as moves sustainability.
One final note. I wrote this in my second blog post of the semester. I view the statement differently, but I think it still holds true. “Designers have a key role in being catalysts for sustainability in our industries. I believe that the pursuit of sustainability needs to be a pervasive ethos for all designers. That’s why I am on this journey.” (From “Starting down a new path” blog post on September 3)