Sustainability is very broadly defined as the ability to maintain the status quo through to the future. To maintain the status quo is for all things to remain constant, or, the same. In this case, for all things to stay the same through to the future. Therefore, I realized, that sustainability can only truly be achieved if I look to the future’s needs when making my decisions of today. For if we do not consider the needs of the future, we are dooming the future.
The future is an unknown that conjures up a multitude of thoughts for what it will hold. I believe that planning for the future is one of the most imperative goals to accomplish for a person, their family, and future generations. Yet, it is easily the most procrastinated of goals.
Think about it: to do some act now, which does not benefit you now, is hard to comprehend, for anyone. Why would you do something so selfless? What is the motivation to give to others? Would there need to be some gigantic emotional pull towards that person? Does there need to be some life-altering event that would enable a person to be able to act with such foresight?
I needed to know.
So, like all things I get passionate about, I needed to know everything there is to know about sustainability.
Figuring out a better way to look at this idea of sustainability was now on my mind. I hoped that uncovering the root of this concept would help me to not keep putting such things off myself. So, I decided to dive in, and after many years of research and dissecting the elements of this idea of sustainability, it brought me to take stock of my own life and I had a sense of self-awareness and realization, my “a-ha!” moment…
I am not here for myself, but for my children.
I am here for the future generations. My actions and choices now will shape and determine the world my children and their children live and their future.
So, for me to ensure I can sustain my current life for my children and their children, I cannot discount the effect my decisions today will have on their ability to have the life I enjoy today. These things of enjoyment and necessities for which I use in my life today, from the food I eat, to the clothes I wear, to the resources I use, will only continue to be available to the future generations if I take into account their longevity when using them today. For if I use more than I need today, there will be less available for the future generations.
The greatest gift I can give to my children, and their children, and all future generations, is the availability of the enjoyments and necessities I have in my life.