With all our good intentions, we sometimes fail to achieve the results we hoped for. The reasons could be many, however here I want to address the toughest one of all – our blind spots.

There are two ways that we acquire blinds spots. We acquire them through

  1. Our perception and beliefs of what sustainability is
  2. Overwhelm and confusion with the vast amount of information (or disinformation) and opinions we are bombarded with every day

Perception and Beliefs

How we perceive and what we believe to be sustainable will shape our direction, choices and what kind of impact we have.  For example, if my definition of sustainability includes only recycling and eating organic food, I will never look at gender pay equality or green energy as part of my sustainability bubble. This is partly because we tend to filter out subjects that we feel do not concern us or that we don’t have ability to control. This in an of itself is another layer of perception and beliefs.

Generally speaking, sustainability encompasses environmental, social and economic aspects. As we globally move along and become more aware of inter-dependency, the granularity of what is included under environmental, social and economic sustainability increases. The complexity will continue to increase, so it is important to continue to increase our personal bubble of sustainability.

So how do we do this? Keep asking questions and by-pass your filters of “it does not concern me” and “I cannot do anything about this”. It is important to add those concepts to your personal sustainability bubble even if you can’t see right now how they affect you or what you can do about them. In time, it will be all clear. Keep your mind inquisitive and be comfortable with “I don’t know”.

Overwhelm and Confusion

We live in an incredible time when all information is at our fingertips. This is fantastic as we can find out what we need to know in minutes, without having to travel across the globe. This also means that all opinions, viewpoints, ideas, information and misinformation are there for us to sift through and make sense of.  Afterall, some people still believe that the Earth is flat. This is where a good dose of discernment and research comes in handy. There always will be people who believe climate change is not real, it does not affect them, and they cannot do anything about it (i.e. Perceptions and Beliefs).  We have already been shown by scientists how incredibly interconnected everything on this planet is. I can assure you that if there is a place on this planet that is burning up, people are starving and large populations are killed off, that THIS IS AFFECTING US. It may not be a direct effect and it may not be the loud, visible effect of a bomb dropping on our houses. It is a subtle one and it may take time to show itself, so keep your eyes and minds open.

My advice is to use discernment, research and validate all that we read and hear. If there is malicious intent, slander or gossip involved, validate the source of the information and filter out the other ones with a bias or hidden affiliations.

The word “Sustainability” is a bridge between a world of strife and a world of harmony.

Eva Greff, Sustainability Consulting

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