Why do I think about the United States Constitution when my pressure cooker finishes cooking? Or when I leave a room? The U.S. Constitution guides my environmental behavior and has since I learned it in elementary school. Today is U.S. Constitution Day since today in 1787 the delegates to the Constitutional Convention signed the document in Philadelphia and that's why today I'm sharing why I love the document, live by it, and think about it daily---specifically Article VI, paragraph 2, which I read and talk about in today's post: This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.
Neither the environment nor your life responds to your awareness. They respond to your behavior. People who speak the truth say, "I'm telling the truth." People who lie say the same thing. People who are aware say they are aware. People who are unaware say the same thing too. Only we're all unaware of what we're unaware of. Saying we're aware only reveals our ignorance of our unawareness. That's pride. If you want to improve the environment or your life, claiming awareness may sound like progress and may get you social approval, but in more cases it stops people from acting. What works? Humility. Viewing action as skills that you develop and practice. How do you develop skills? Practice, practice, practice. The results? Greatness, authenticity, genuine self-expression, and all the other results of mastery, even from environmental skills. Want results? Avoid seeing awareness as a goal. Act. Do. Develop skills.
People seem impressed when people don't pollute. They say, "That's so good of you!" If not polluting is good, doesn't that mean polluting is normal? I don't think we should see not polluting as special. Let's view it as normal. Here's the Chris Rock routine I mentioned (not even close to safe for work): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B0B_ekSrsEk
2 minutes and 53 seconds to show you the trends people are following back to what used to be normal and healthy. Fight against clean and pure all you want. You'll follow eventually. Why not start now and lead?
I recorded this episode to follow up my blog post, also titled Technology won’t solve environmental issues and you know it. This podcast covers a few more angles, but click there if you like a written version.
I recorded this video showing a year's worth of garbage. My point is to show you it's possible. Many people have asked me how. My answers never seem to satisfy them. If you care enough to try, I recommend you try. You're not going to die. Humans have lived for hundreds of thousands of years without food packaging and our modern world makes it as easy as ever to live without food packaging. You'll figure out how to do it, which will answer all your questions on how to do it for yourself. Though I started to live by my values, I continue mostly because It's delicious It costs less It saves time It's more convenient It's more social---I share more meals with friends, colleagues, and family It's more social---I meet the farmers and visit the farm that grow most of my vegetables I eat more volume of food than ever So I'm more satisfied than ever My abs are more defined than ever In other words, by my values, I eat better than ever. Read the transcript.
Why do people who haven't tried it call not flying impossible, yet it was just as challenging for me and I find it one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. Being in a system without realizing it makes it easy to confuse that system's values with your own or with absolute reality. What looks impossible is just impossible within that system. To change, it's easier to exit the system first so you don't feel constrained by its constraints. We were born to some strong systems that make not flying look impossible but not flying is simple. You're probably not flying right now. I present a couple cases---one simple, the other complex and expensive---that illustrate what happens when you're trapped in a system versus when you free yourself from it. Here are some links about General Paul Van Riper and the Millennium Challenge 2002 Wikipedia on Paul Van Riper War game was fixed to ensure American victory, claims general in the Guardian Interview with Frontline Interview with Nova Wikipedia on the Millennium Challenge Read the transcript.
This morning I volunteered to pick up trash along the Hudson River. The experience included baby geese, a crab, lots of plastic and waste, and people not connecting their behavior with all this garbage.
This episode asks some personal questions that are challenging if you haven't thought them through enough to act on them. I think they'll help you live by your values if you do. Which is easier, for a slave owner to free his or her slaves or for you to stop using disposable water bottles and food packaging, flying around the world, turning down the thermostat and wearing a sweater in the winter, and so on? If you had slaves, would you free them? I think most people would say it's a lot easier to avoid plastic than to free slaves, but they would also say they would free their slaves -- at least when no one can check. But they don't act environmentally. If you believe you would make the difficult choices hypothetically, will you also make the easier choices here and now? Read the transcript.
Do you care about the environment? Do you care about leading? The Leadership and the Environment podcast NYU's School of Liberal Studies invite you to improve both at a Panel of Leadership and Environment Experts Tuesday, April 3, 6pm – 8pm NYU Silver Building, 100 Washington Sq E (at Washington Sq N), room 405 Free, register here Featuring Vincent Stanley Vincent, co-author with Yvon Chouinard of The Responsible Company, has been with Patagonia since its beginning in 1973, including executive roles as head of sales or marketing. Informally, he is Patagonia’s chief storyteller. He helped develop the Footprint Chronicles, the company’s interactive website that outlines the social and environmental impact of its products; the Common Threads Partnership; and Patagonia Books. He serves as the company’s Director, Patagonia Philosophy, and is a visiting fellow at the Yale School of Management. He is also a poet whose work has appeared in Best American Poetry. Robin Nagle Robin's book, Picking Up, is an ethnography of New York City’s Department of Sanitation based on a decade of work with the Department, including working as a uniformed sanitation worker. She is also a clinical professor of anthropology and environmental studies in NYU’s School of Liberal Studies, with research in the new interdisciplinary field of discard studies. She considers the category of material culture known generically as waste, with a specific emphasis on the infrastructures and organizational demands that municipal garbage imposes on urban areas. Since 2006 she has been the DSNY’s anthropologist-in-residence, an unsalaried position structured around several projects. Her TED talk gives a quick overview of and more detail about her work. RJ Khalaf RJ is a senior at New York University pursuing a degree in Global Liberal Studies with a concentration in Politics, Rights, and Development and a minor in Social Entrepreneurship. Recently named one of NYU's most influential students by Washington Square News, he is the President of the NYU Muslim Students Association and is a Dalai Lama Fellow. RJ is the founder and director of LEAD Palestine, an organization that aims to inspire, motivate, and empower the next generation of Palestine's youth through a hands-on and fun leadership-based summer camp. Joshua Spodek Joshua PhD MBA, bestselling author of Leadership Step by Step and host of the award-winning Leadership and the Environment podcast, is an adjunct professor at NYU, leadership coach and workshop leader for Columbia Business School, columnist for Inc., and founder of SpodekAcademy.com. Free, register here