Aerial // Focus on now

During my time in Taize, I had the opportunity to briefly talk with Aerial from Eugene, Oregon. Intrigued by the topic of sustainability, Aerial started to share some of his thoughts on the subject with me. Aerial has been in the process of finding his true passion in life for the last few years, and on that search, has wound up working in a variety of fields. One of the earlier areas that he was interested in was forestry and environmental protection.

After studying forestry briefly in Finland, he started asking himself the question of whether or not we even need to protect the environment? “Even if we destroy it to the point where we significantly jeopardize humanity’s existence, the trees are still going to grow back at some point. It’s just a matter of how long that will take.”

As we continued talking about the environment, Aerial made the point though that the term sustainability is much more than just protecting the environment around us, it’s about focusing on ourselves as well. “Sustainability is ensuring that we can continue living good lives both today and into the future.” Sustainability is truly concerned with time, and our ability to respond to the challenges in an appropriate and timely manner, before they threaten our quality of life.

But how do we know what that amount of time is for different challenges?

Aerial explained that all we know about time is the present. The past is behind us, and the future is full of uncertainty. If we really want to start making changes, we need to focus on what we are presently doing and ask the question of whether or not our behavior is capable of creating a good life for all people into the future. Focus on now, rather than dwell on the past or worry about the future.

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