In order to make and keep the world a better place, sustainable people not only do what they are good at but also help others become their best selves. More information and more action don’t bore them. They systematically get things done and establish various back up plans for problems that may arise. They are honest about the severity of the issues at hand and their corresponding remedy. They respect themselves, their superiors, their inferiors, as well as the nature.
People like these are the creators of stable economies, inclusive societies, good governance and safe environment on earth. They lead us in a democratic way. They are passionate, skilled and knowledgeable in alleviating poverty and in fair distribution of solutions to the remotest areas. Above all, they love everyone. Despite their ability to shake the world, they are humble, understanding, and trustworthy.
I am training myself to become a sustainable person. So far, I have realized that despite all massive opportunities or huge experiences that make us all sustainable by formula, challenges to word’s sustainability still lie in the lack of proper attitudes that we apply in our daily life, and so there lies the solution.
Good attitude towards development is not magic or a trick for a few, but a game that everyone can win. For you to understand what sustainability means, it was worth learning the following three lessons:
- What we expect from the planet is too much
We love our planet and enjoy being alive. However, our greedy search for survival, wealth and power cannot allow the earth’s main resources to thrive. Our beyond-control technology and wrath-induced weaponry, all driven by selfishness, cannot allow us to celebrate our inherited gifts.
- Our great skills and knowledge lack critical information
There is no other creature in record that was able to accomplish what humankind accomplished. However, our knowledge to the world is still limited as it has weak values to help scale the solutions we create.
Despite making the world smaller and closer, we barely understand what is going on in our societies because we think our skills in one part of the globe are enough. Yet, we cannot scale and achieve sustainability if our skills do not connect with the society that we want to create solutions for.
We need to know and understand what motivates others before throwing our so-called solutions to them.
Good attitude is the backbone solution to our problems
Despite having a deep interest and, sometimes, innate calling for a particular subject, plus an enormous know how that we possess, our attitude to the physical planet is not as good as it should be.
We lack a dose of care for the mother land. We tend to inquire for the best and expect more at an unfair cost. We have all we need to live in harmony with the environment but we always push against the planetary boundaries.
Without good attitude, passion and skills cannot make the world sustainable.
5 serious threats to sustainability
You will be surprised to see that most of sustainability threats derive from what we call opportunities that we run after every day and night. The problem is not insufficient finance, insufficient time, or lack of will. The problem is not a lack of skills and knowledge. The problem is a lack of proper attitude in the search-for-survival process. Let me tell you how:
- We have very shocking inequality in economy and living standards. Before the industrial revolution, the word was fairly equal in problems and solutions. But look now. The rich became richer while the poor became poorer. Powerful people celebrate victories while the weak are in tears behind the scene. We need fair resource and happiness distribution!
- We still dwell on unjust leadership systems. Some of us say justice doesn’t exist because of what they experience. We’re in a world where men still have a voice over women, where guns dominate the peace-building process, and where basic human rights are compromised in exchange of pennies and cents. Why can’t we make peace talks work?
- We have poorer social inclusion and less love. Futurist warned us when they said love would become low. This has happened already. In secrecy is where dark acts are planned and implemented. As long as wealth is concerned, we blindfold others, exclude them, marginalize them and eliminate them for us to maximize our gains or to hide our bad deeds. Transparent systems and processes are more than needed.
- We are environmental illiterates. When we need to eat, we don’t care about tomorrow or after tomorrow. We get what we want, dump the waste, and run away. At the moment, we avoid to remember that the more we take out of the environment, the more exhausted it becomes. We don’t care about long-term damages as long as we meet our short term needs. We have to be realistic about our actions and their effects.
- We create scary technologies: We create many delicate technologies that might blow up this planet. Let’s leave room for natural processes to work as usual. We’re still on earth that runs through natural, not artificial, processes. You can’t digitalize everything and ensure absolute safety at the same time.
A sustainable remedy
Serious problems require serious solutions. Here is what we need to do to become and remain sustainable. Nothing is new at all. But mastering each of the following requires repeated training and joint support. I am trying to live by these 6 attitudes and have made great progress so far. It’s not easy. But it’s possible.
- Love everyone: We more than need to love each other and will not go far if we don’t. As this saying reminds us: “In everything, then, do to others as you would have them do to you”. Love is fundamental to sustainable development.
- Put attitude first: Instead of testing your fit for a career through knowledge and skills, give yourself a trial exercise and see how appropriate you do the work. The way you naturally behave and approach the work is unique. It comes from your inner character. Attitude is a set of values that you don’t just express, but that you live by every day. Improve it and the rest will be sorted out.
- Educate for change: Teach people how to respect themselves and others. Teach them universal human rights. Teach students how to learn and how to create real solutions not just “new things”. Everyone struggles with these things, so being introduced to them at school can prepare us ahead of time and potentially boost success in our future.
- Ban all unhealthy paths to wealth: Smuggling, corruption, theft, piracy, coups, deforestation, fracking, human trafficking, poaching, etc.
- Beware of technology: Keep it safe for now and for the future.
- Love everyone: You read it right. I wrote this again. “In everything, then, do to others as you would have them do to you”. Love is fundamental to sustainable development.
We can end the world’s sufferance in our lifetime. But there is a cost. The earlier we start paying that cost, the sooner we will win the sustainability battle. I hope this proposal will guide us.