How To Create A Bright & Badass Future

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The future is coming – what’re we going do about it? Will we be co-creators and take responsibility for what transpires, or will we just float along with the tide as passengers?

If we decide to live a conscious life where we recognize our own individual power and responsibility within the story of human history, then we have to inextricably bond ourselves to sustainability. Yup, THAT word: “Sustainability”. It’s been a buzz word for years as we’ve continued to awaken to the realities of our world, but what exactly does it mean?

Sustainability

  • the ability to be sustained, supported, upheld, or confirmed.

  • the quality of not being harmful to the environment or depleting natural resources, and thereby supporting long-term ecological balance.

So in terms of our everyday lexicon, it’s the ability to be sustained, hence the words “sustain” and “ability” being fused together to form “sustainability”. Wow, words! But we often hear it in relation to our environment, and that’s what this post is about.

Sustainability should be at the forefront of all of our minds, but it’s not.

It’s understandable why it’s not for many of us:

  • We’re in survival mode struggling to live.

  • We’re unaware of our daily impact on our environment.

  • We’re aware but choose not to act in sustainable ways.

  • Any combination of these.

Some of these are valid reasons, but for many of us, we can take the time to educate ourselves and begin to take small positive actions toward bettering our world (that’s what Better Human is all about). This shit is important. It’s important because, well, look at our world! We’ve got a lot of positive things going for us, but we’ve got negative things too that need fixing.

That’s not to say that we should wallow in the negativity, nor push it away completely because we only want to focus on the positive. We should be aware of what’s going on and do our best to live and act within that awareness daily. That awareness includes the positive and the negative, the lightness and the darkness, the yin and the yang, man. Not to ruin your day or anything, but let’s focus on the negative first.

In terms of the environment, we’re currently:

  • Polluting our soil, rivers and oceans with agricultural pesticides, oil and natural gas, killing countless animals

  • Polluting our air and contributing to climate change through animal agriculture and the combustion of fossil fuels

  • Extracting precious metals through destructive mining practices for all of our tech gadgets

  • Dumping plastic waste into our rivers and oceans, killing more marine animals

  • Overfishing and acidifying our oceans, throwing off the balance of the marine ecosystem

  • Destroying habitats for animal agriculture and palm oil

  • Causing the extinction of thousands of species

  • About to begin mining the deep ocean for precious metals

Damn! This is far from sustainable. Currently, billions of people and thousands of companies are contributing to an unhealthy, imbalanced and unsustainable world. Most people neither have the ability nor the knowledge to live sustainably, and companies neither have public nor governmental pressure to operate sustainably. The norm is disharmony and disrespect. Shouldn’t it be the opposite?

But our world is waking up. Millions of people and hundreds of companies are part of the sustainability movement, and they need our participation if we’re to create a better world for ourselves and future generations. We can unshit things by continuously educating ourselves on the aforementioned issues, then using our knowledge to act intentionally, responsibly and sustainably.

We can begin with asking ourselves:

  • What do I do, eat and buy on a daily basis that is either in or out of alignment with a sustainable lifestyle? What sustainable alternatives exist?

  • What do companies extract, manufacture, ship and sell on a daily basis that’s in or out of alignment with sustainability?

  • What do governments and societies do that’s sustainable and unsustainable?

Once we get clear on these answers, we then know where to focus our attention and efforts, which can vary greatly.

Some people are hardcore and move to a secluded, small plot of land in the mountains, live off the grid, build a small home composed of used auto tires, grow their own food, begin to look like “Castaway” Tom Hanks and arise every morning, arms outstretched to the celestial heavens exclaiming, “Good morning my wondrous and bountiful Mother Gaia, how may I be of service to your divine beauty on this glorious day?”.

This is sustainable. But no…just, no.

Others may simply recycle, which is a small start, but there’s clearly room for improvement.

As for me, I’m the annoying guy who’s always aware of my and others’ actions, often bringing sustainability issues to light with those around me. I buy ethically and responsibly as often as I can, live a semi-minimalist lifestyle and try my best to be environmentally conscious every day. I’ll smack a plastic water bottle outta someone’s hand, you know I will! I’m loco!

The hope is that enough of us will take enough action in order to turn the tide. Small actions beget more small actions, which eventually snowballs into massive action. This is where massive change happens. We as individuals have to be the catalysts for that change - only then will governments and corporations follow. We have to live by our own righteous, internal law that moves us toward a more habitable and healthy world.

I personally look to Native Americans for inspiration.

A deep, internal respect and appreciation for our air, water, land and all animal “nations” has been embedded in their culture for centuries. They’ve known that everything on this Earth is interconnected and we have a responsibility to respect all that “The Great Mystery” (“God”) has provided.

We could learn specifically from the Iroquois Nations, who have always lived by a law that asks of them to question whether or not their decisions today will benefit their descendants seven generations into the future. Seven generations! That’s around 140 years, which means anyone reading this right now probably gon’ be dead at that point.

That’s pretty damn responsible and altruistic.

It’s no easy task to think and live sustainably, but from a micro level, all it takes are small, daily, conscious choices from all of us. Our world’s population has always been so myopic and short-term in it’s view, but we can build a wave of conscious humans who act in the interest of our present and future. We can build a better world from the ground up if we act and speak up.

“It has to start somewhere, it has to start sometime, what better place than here, what better time than now. ALL HELL CAN’T STOP US NOW.”
- Zack de la Rocha, Rage Against The Machine

Yea, I just did that.