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The Though Kitchen - Dedicated to Stirring the Pot

Is sustainability boring?

Posted by hal | August 24th, 2006 | Filed under Sustainability

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Well, yes, I guess in some ways it is. Like fidelity, honesty, integrity or any of the values that require long-term consistent actions and unwavering commitment, sustainability, on first blush, seems like a pretty dull proposition. But it seems to me that the key is in the style with which one approaches any of these things.

Take fidelity for example. I used to believe that the idea of living with one other person, forsaking all others, was tantamount to a life sentence in maximum security. I now realize that fidelity can be a source of immense satisfaction and reward. Finding new ways to describe long held feelings for the same person throughout a lifetime is a creative endeavor worthy of an endowment, and the rewards of having done so are seemingly immeasurable.

It’s the same with sustainability. The notion of being careful not to squander today’s resources, so tomorrow’s generations can have some too. The idea of living within one’s means, and of putting things back. These all seem to be about sacrifice, and doing without. On the other hand, the idea of making careful conscious choices seems to align with the idea of increasing the value of each thing chosen, thereby turning the practice of sustainability into one of curation, of cultivation, of elegant simplicity and discriminating style.

2 Responses to “Is sustainability boring?”

  • August 27, 2006 at 1:39 pm | karen wolf says

    Speaking to tomorrow\’s generation, the seventh generation philosophy of the Iroquois Confederacy were also known as the League of Peace and Power ” these are a couple of concepts to balance! to bad george doesn\’t get it. Looking at the word \”power\” as a spiritual belief, it would be all purple ponies and Oreo\’s for everyone if \”sustainability\” became a higher law in our society, and as a collective soul we could tap into our innate sense of responsibility for future generations to enjoy (with a big glass of milk).

  • September 4, 2006 at 11:24 am | Douglas says

    I really like this posting. Sustainability is not about sacrifice but about something we all learned in kindergarten, not taking more than our fair share. It’s also about feeling grateful instead of feeling entitled.

    Your words about fidelity are wonderful too. As in art or in sports, you need boundaries to define “space” for creativity and joy. A game needs rules or boundaries; without them, people’s actions are literally meaningless.

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