Sustainability and Making My Bed Every Morning

August 17, 2023 by Joshua
in Leadership

Everyone talks about how individual action doesn’t matter when they have to do something. What could seem less relevant to protecting national security then an individual making his or her bed? There are nuclear weapons in the world. Terrorists fly planes into buildings.

What do the top military officers suggest about meeting these threats? Admiral and SEAL William H. McRaven says to make your bed in his If You Want To Change The World, Make Your Bed! commencement address The University of Texas at Austin in 2014.

By the standards most people apply to sustainability actions, like does it lower emissions or scale to solve global problems, making one’s bed should matter less than picking up litter or watching videos at low resolution. Yet I contend that my making my bed every morning is more relevant than anything else I do.

Every morning I wake up, make my bed, cross the room, and turn off my alarm before it changes to the next minute—that is, within sixty seconds. I started this sidcha in November 2016. I don’t think I heard McRaven’s talk by then. It’s possible; I just don’t remember. In any case A few times I saw the time click to the next minute, but otherwise I haven’t missed in those 2,400-plus mornings. I don’t think I heard his speech before then.

Most people don’t know what they’re talking about regarding changing our impact on the environment.

Most people don’t know what they’re talking about regarding changing our impact on the environment. People who say individual action doesn’t matter must be confused by McRaven. By their logic, he’s an idiot.

That’s the difference between people who speak from hard-earned experience versus I-don’t-know-what-to-call most environmentalists who focus on grand solutions without experience. He knows what works. Want to keep the biosphere healthy, safe, and sustainable? Include make your bed every morning part of your strategy if you want it to work.

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