On the Road Less Traveled, there are Different Shades of Green
May 29, 2017
Is this a business post or a personal post? I guess it has to be both.
It really is not so easy being green. My friends think that I am a tree hugging liberal but let me say up front that a few things I just won’t give up. For one thing, by the world’s standards, I live in a cavernous house. I also love a bubble bath once a week (you will have to pry that loofah out of my cold, dead hand to make me give that up). So please take this blog entry with a grain of hypocritical salt.
Over twenty years ago I was still in college and got a summer job working for MassPirg. We knocked on doors trying to get signatures and donations for the recycling bill. I hated feeling like a do-gooder annoyance to people. Sure I believed in the cause, but I wasn’t perfect and growing up Catholic, assumed everyone could see through me as a fraud. The most inspirational thing that happened that summer was an impromptu visit from Ralph Nader. Think what you will, but when public speaking, the man’s got game. We all listened as he explained that if everyone did a little, no one would have to do a lot. He made an argument for his core beliefs and principles, at the time when most of us were still developing our opinions, so his clarity and determination impressed me.
Now I am older, hopefully wiser, and spending the year examining my life. After a contentious election, I pray that other people are doing the same. Something that is clear to me lately is that I am the president of my life and everything I do. Read these points and see how your jurisdiction is fairing:
I am president of my company and the way I conduct business is a reflection of my trustworthiness.
I am president of my bank account (such as it is) and the way I spend money is a reflection of what I value.
I am president of my closet and the way I treat my possessions is a reflection of respecting my good fortune.
I am president of my body and the way I feed it is a reflection of my beliefs in the future.
I am president of my land and the way I care for it is a reflection of hope and mindfulness.
Am I perfect in every way? -Ha! Not at all! But I am not going to be inactive because of the fear of making a mistake.
For work, I visit businesses and look at them with “fresh eyes” so that I can find opportunities to make them better. I fearlessly turn over many rocks to see where the problems truly lie. It does not always make me popular, but knowing I am doing the right thing makes the work meaningful. I now see that as an adult, my main concern is not being liked as much as being ‘right’ – in alignment with my core beliefs.
At home, I try to conserve, recycle, and value what I have: I am not buying any new clothes for a year (see earlier blogs), we eat meat twice a week, buy organic when possible, catch rain water, compost and garden, carry bags instead of using plastic, etc… There are so many more things to do, but with each small step I make a difference.
It is important to me that my core beliefs at work match up with my actions at home now too. I will not work for companies that have different values than I do – a fact that makes me rich in spirit, but sometimes poor in wallet.
I have control over my destiny – and so do you. Never let “anyone” tell you that you cannot accomplish a goal. By “anyone” I am including that small voice in your head. There is great freedom to be had in knowing who you are and liking your imperfect, ever improving self.