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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Re-Generative Generation, Not The Sustainable Generation

a generation re-generating life.

Growing up in a quite urban area, approximately 45 minutes from Manhattan, I have met a lot of really interesting people. When I say really interesting, I mean anywhere from an urban ‘starbucker’ to a west coast rancher. From a horticulturist to an aspiring entrepreneur. Who did I like most? Well, I would say I liked the aspiring entrepreneur the most, and the horticulturist the least. But on a different scale, rather than like and hate. A  scale which ranges from the most intriguing, open to change down to someone who  always complains because the earth is not a lush native forest. Notice that both want change… also notice that I picked these two as examples to focus on. Why- because I liked both of these people the most out of my list, though one was always complaining (horticulturist), they are still trying to change the world.
Where am I going with this?

The urban ‘starbucker’ is open to change, normally a democrat, and usually drives a prius, or takes the train wherever they go. All good things, nothing wrong with any of these qualities.

The West Coast Rancher, in my creative little mind, always thought of someone who was old fashioned, certainly not open to change, and also someone who wakes up every morning at 5:30 A.M. to hop on the horse and start farm work for the day. This one west coast rancher in particular, whom I happened to meet while in New Zealand was quite different from that stereotype I had stuck in my head. Her name was Traci and she was open to change. I was a part of that change, and really appreciated her willingness to see the rest of the world, not just her ranch. She told me that quite a bit of my stereotyping was on the money, but she was different then her family. She inspired me… there’s some magic that comes with seeing a rancher who wants
 to see the rest of the world. It makes you realize that you can enjoy both worlds, a relatively conservative lifestyle, stagnant on a farm for most of your life, but then if you want some change, you can get up and leave.

Of course we cannot all afford to become urban ‘starbuckers’ nor can we all capture the lifestyle of a west coast rancher… but what we can learn, is how to pull some qualities from all these people… a slice of ‘green’ from the urban ‘starbucker’, some relaxed, low maintenance (luxury wise) excitement from the west coast rancher, thinking big from the entrepreneur and caring about preserving our forests and bio diversity on earth from the horticulturist.

With the development of this recipe come’s some hard work, motivation and most importantly, commitment. Often, people will become vegetarians… for six months. Go on a diet… for eight months. Go on a budget… for two weeks or cut down on luxuries… for maybe a month at most.

This lifestyle recipe I am putting forth is necessary if we want to be on our way to not sustaining (sustainability) what we have- because its on the down slope, but rather re-generating what we used to have. We need to live our lives not only healing ourselves, but the environment and eco-system around us. We need to re-build and re-habilitate what we have, not start from scratch… it is simply too late for that.

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