Last Sunday came at the end of a hectic week. All I wanted was to sleep in, and read the New York Times, and do more of nothing. There was only one problem. Lashy, my Little Sister, was waiting for me. The thought of canceling brushed my mind. For a second, I imagined what it would be like to not get dressed, and stay home. The pleasure of being lazy. No, I had to honor my commitment to her. I knew she had been looking forward to our outing, all week. When she called, I answered that yes, I was coming to pick her up and we would go ice skating as planned.
I have been thinking about what it is that moved me to go through the effort of meeting Lashy last Sunday. And what’s the difference with not following through with some of my green commitments? When I say I am not going to drive to the gym, and I am going to bike instead, and then I drop the ball, and grab my car key, what is it that happens? In the case of Lashy, it is my heart that moves me. I empathize with her, and I don’t want to disappoint her. In the bike – no car situation, there is no one to relate to, except myself. I know ‘I should’, and if I don’t go through, the only person that’s being let down is ‘moi’. I can deal with that. I am pretty good at rationalizing . . .
This is why 12-Steps Programs require their members to attend meetings, and more importantly, to choose a sponsor. The sponsor is the person that keeps the addict honest, and makes it hard for him or her to relapse. In the climate fight, we are all supposed to wean ourselves from our addictive habits of convenience and comfort. On our own. I say, we each need a green sponsor, a person with whom we can contract and who will hold us responsible to our promises. Someone we respect and whom we don’t want to let down.
Wal-Mart is onto something with its Personal Sustainability Promise initiative.