Saturday Morning Coffee

International Affairs Specialist by day, Blogger Enthusiast by night. This is a sneak peek into my world that should be enjoyed with ample time and a good and very strong cup of java.

It’s a Sustainable Life

Sus-TAIN-able!! Whoa, I hear it everywhere – from Oprah to Obama, on the news, in the papers, around town, in the grocery stores and I’m sure it’s one of those words that will be on next year’s Spelling Bee List. So what the heck does it mean? Seriously, it’s only within the last months, maybe a year that it’s been rolling off the tongue of everyone and it’s been evolving into, sustainable development, sustainable living, sustainable business…just throw a sustainable in front of it and all of a sudden my sentence has drama!

I like it because it has speaks to continuity and maintaining that whatever we have right now will last into the future. Maybe that’s why it pairs so nicely with the Green Movement – ensuring that businesses are responsible to the environment where they work, that our household products are friendly to our ecosystem and that economic and international development projects consider conservation, health and environmental concerns.  It’s a great concept and I happily embrace it. But I also think sustainability can go beyond our concern for the earth and can also be applied to our relationships with each other and among communities.

If I’ve learned anything over the last few decades is that things change, priorities change, people change. That’s why circles of friends are always changing and why the value of old friends and family increases over time. I think if you were to ask anyone, family and friends would be at the top of the list of ‘Most Important Things in Life’. But, it’s not easy to keep such a close network of relationships and it takes work, much more than simply switching laundry detergents or getting a hybrid. Adaptation and prioritizing are key and we’ve clearly done it regarding the environment, but for ourselves and those closest to us, I think many of us have fallen short. Do you think that sustainable relationships and communities are giving way to sustainable growth, innovation and paychecks? If our relationships really are the most important aspects of our lives, then the same fervor, passion and energy that many of us felt for green products, living and  technology, should be – if not more – applied to maintaining our network of relationships. If we did, perhaps we’d have more cordial and sustainable communities – after all, it’s the people that build them, not the other way around.

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June 2010
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