People ask me why I avoid flying. It started for environmental reasons but that’s not why I don’t fly today. I don’t fly today because it makes my life better and I’m going to tell you why you are going to follow me to fly less yourself, maybe stopping entirely for a long time. I’m going to tell you the trend and see if you pick up on the trend and you tell me if you know people moving in this direction.
Slow Food, eating less meat, people drinking less alcohol in moderation, avoiding sugar, no refined foods, using less fossil fuels, minimalism in general, dropping Facebook, dropping social media. I have a friend who reads no news sites.
I translated that for myself into reading no pages that get refreshed faster than daily. It’s improved my life immeasurably. Less screen time. The world is having fewer kids. I have a celebrity friend. When I asked him to write a blurb for my book he said, “Josh, I read two books per year” but he doesn’t just read those books.
He lives those books and I tell you he gets more out of those two books than we get in reading all of the more and more books. Because what’s the opposite of this trend? What’s the opposite of avoiding all these things and doing less of all these things? High frequency trading, the pinnacle of this fast stuff, high frequency trading crashed our economic systems. Fast food, sugar, processed food causes obesity, heart disease, cancer, factory farming, food deserts, dead zones.
At Harlem Grown, a wonderful project started by Tony Hillery that enables kids in Harlem to grow kale, chard, arugula. When they brought their food home, their mothers threw it away because they didn’t know what to do with it. That’s what happened that we no longer know how to cook the food that the earth provides us in bounty. Instead we make trans fats by bubbling hydrogen through oil that makes it yet worse for us.
Within a couple of blocks of the Harlem Grown farm in the middle of Harlem there are over 60 fast food places where you can get junk food and not one place where you can get vegetables. So their mothers threw away vegetables that they grew themselves as the money from Harlem gets funneled into corporate boardrooms profiting from making people unhealthy and the poor the neighborhoods, the more they do it. Facebook leads to depression, so does most of what you use your smartphone for. It takes effort to make these changes. I grant that.
But what happens on the other side? The reward is joy, a clean pure world, people being accountable and responsible, community, meaning, purpose, love. That’s why I believe that you’re going to follow me to fly less one day and I don’t have to explain why because you see the trends. You know what’s on the other side of it. And as sure you prefer a healthy body over diabetes and heart disease, as sure you prefer a healthy mind over Facebook driven depression and craving.
You are going to prefer community and your neighbors and genuine authentic emotion connecting with them over tourist traps or if it’s some pristine place turning that would-be-pristine place into yet another tourist trap. So welcome aboard.
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On initiative, leadership, the environment, and burpees