As a green girl committed to confessing her daily sins, I thought it would be interesting to go down the list of the seven sins, and see which ones get me in trouble the most:
A few days ago, the words Make Love, not War came to me in the midst of a walk. We are at war with the Earth. When will we start making love with it? We have lost our emotional connection with the Earth. I find it again, every time I go back home to my grandparents’ farm, in the Southwest of France. There, I have this incredible need to physically connect with the earth, to touch it and hold it in my hands. I have not gone back since the beginning of my mother’s illness two years ago, and I miss it terribly. La terre.
Taken in its expanded version, as consuming more than one needs, I am definitely guilty of that one. I could live off what I already owns for years to come. Yet the thought of no longer being able to shop at my favorite spots – think Target, Anthropologie, H&M – triggers immediate withdrawal angst.
Not giving into greed is another challenge. I live in Silicon Valley, where pretty much everyone I know is a millionaire, and working hard at gathering even more millions. The New York Times had an article on that very subject a few days ago. Closely linked to greed is the need to succeed, and to build some business venture of sorts. After years in dormancy, raising my children, I got the bug again, and am working hard at joining the startup bandwagon. I just came back from a lunch gathering for E2 (Environmental Entrepreneurs), and it was hard not to feel the rush, from all the potential opportunities.
Guilty there too. When it comes to practicing a green lifestyle, I can be incredibly lazy. I just love convenience, and always find a million of excuses for not making the extra effort. This morning again, I made the deliberate choice to spend an extra fifteen minutes writing in my blog, and driving to a meeting only a few blocks away, rather than forsaking the blog, and walking instead. Never mind the blog is all about trying to be green.
I know this may seem kind of sick, but that is the truth. Sometimes, when I am angry, I literally take it on the Earth, and find an almost devious pleasure in ‘trashing’ small things that I know full well should be recycled. I am talking candy wrapper, not plastic bottle . . . Often in these moments, I get in touch with an energy that is much bigger than me, not just my personal anger. And I start thinking about all the other crimes that are being committed routinely, and on a much grander scale, against the Earth, all over the world.
# 6. Envy
Nothing comes to mind, for now, except maybe my desire to succeed, and to be yet another Silicon Valley success story. I have a hard time separating envy from greed. I can also come up with a lot of excuses for why I want so badly to be a part of the Silicon Valley gold rush. For a long time, I thought I was immune to the power of money. Years as a starving artist have changed my perspective. Money is not necessarily a bad thing. My dream is to make enough money to some day fund social and green ventures. In the mean time, I need to remain aware of all the pitfalls, and to be careful to walk the green talk.
# 7. Pride
I am old enough to no longer trust my ego completely. How pure are my motivations? I have these grandiose ideas of how I will help save the Earth. Ask me to stuff envelopes for an environmental cause, or to plant trees, or to be a good green steward at home, and you will find me a lot less enthused. I am a victim of the delusion that bigger ideas are better than a collection of small personal actions.
I like lists, they force me to clean house.