At a certain point in my life I stopped needing to be right and I started wanting to be better. I’m not sure what that’s all about but I think it’s a stage we all hit. Like your teens is full of angst and learning how to handle your body, your 20s are all about figuring out who you are, and your 30s are about not giving a shit. For whatever reason, I started wanting to be a better human, a more critical thinker, a more ethical individual, a kinder, more empathetic person. Working in a leadership role in social services I have lots of opportunities to learn how to grow. I also recently picked up The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen Covey. I’m not done the book [ it’s a thick, thought-provoking doozie ] but so far my mind is getting blown every time I turn the page. I think I’m going to write a few posts over the next while on this theme Because. Really. The lessons in this book are UBER translatable – they can be applied to your life at home, at work, or [ drumroll …] the environment.
Today I’m into the Product / Production Capacity balance lesson. I know – that sounds hella technical and boring. BUT IT’S NOT! trust me – because the lesson is taught through a fable [ a story about something that teaches you about something else entirely – so deep! ]
‘This fable is the story of a poor farmer who finds his pet goose sitting on a glittering golden egg. At first, he thinks it must be a trick. But he has second thoughts and takes the egg to be appraised instead.
The egg is pure gold! The farmer can’t believe his good fortune. He becomes even more excited the next day when he finds a second golden egg. Day after day, he awakens to rush to the nest and find another golden egg. He becomes fabulously wealthy; it all seems too good to be true.
But with his increasing wealth comes greed and impatience. Unable to wait day after day for the golden eggs, the farmer decides he will kill the goose and get them all at once. But when he opens the goose, he finds it empty. There are no golden eggs – and now there is no way to get any more.
Within this fable is a natural law, a principle – the basic definition of effectiveness. Most people believe that the more you produce, the more you do, the more effective you are.
But as the story shows –
If you adopt a pattern of life that focuses only on golden eggs and neglects the goose you will soon be without the asset that produced the golden eggs. On the other hand, if you only take care of the goose with no aim toward the golden eggs, you soon won’t have the wherewithal to feed yourself or the goose.’
Now – consider this through an eco-lens.
Humans have learned to take what we need and are nourished and prosperous as a result. This is the basis of consumption. In a sustainable system the consumer leaves byproduct that is consumed by the producer and continues to replenish (the producing capacity is taken care of by the product). In a capitalist system the singular focus on production and consumption without nurturing the eco-system that made it all possible to begin with throws all balance off kilter. We have been only focusing on the golden eggs for decades, and our goose is struggling.
In the spirit of celebrating the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, I believe there are 7 easy things everyone can do to nurture our goose of a planet a bit. My 7 for this week will be:
- Riding my bike everywhere that I can – I’m going to get some fresh air and work on my buns of steel
- Eating vegetarian [ meals not people ] as often as possible [ it’s always possible ]
- Going plastic free – this one may be tough. I don’t know if you’ve noticed but that shit is EVERYWHERE
- Turning the air conditioning down – sweating is for winners
- Not buying anything other than groceries. I have all I need.
- Making natural toothpaste. I think it’s going to be gross but any taste can be acquired. Stay tuned.
- Unplugging appliances that aren’t in use
I can do it – want to try some of your own?
Let me know about it, maybe I’ll pick up your habits too