April 22nd was Earth Day (actually, EVERY day is Earth Day, but the April 22nd is the day we do a special “shout out” about our relationship with the environment).
Recently, Kathy Haskin – an environmental education curriculum specialist and writer, as well as an integral TED* team member – published an article applying The Power of TED* to the environment, entitled “Our Focus on Environmental Issues – Problems or Outcomes.” While I strongly urge you to read the entire article, the following are some vital excerpts.
Kathy observes: “Each day we are inundated with the doom and gloom of a planet in peril. We feel like victims of the environment itself. We are then bombarded with suggestions for ‘Saving the Planet.’ Be it ten things or eight, there always seems to be a list to focus on, urging us to be the rescuers solving the problem of the day. And so the drama perpetuates the roles (of Victim, Persecutor and Rescuer) and the roles engage in the drama.”
She raises essential questions: “Are you focusing on the problems you want to avoid, or the outcomes you want to create? In my opinion, a creator is a person who can take on an environmental issue. Should we put our ingenuity into blaming the problem like a victim or pursuing a solution like a creator?”
Kathy takes a Creator stand: “Creators are able to transform their perspective toward difficulties with people, conditions and/or circumstances into challenges to be met, understood, and (whenever possible) overcome… I choose to be outcome-oriented rather than problem-focused and see limited energy resources as a call for a different outcome and technological advances rather than a doomsday report.”
And she serves as a Challenger to us all: “I challenge all of us to join in the effort to create a world which we will be proud to pass on to future generations. Let’s approach our environmental realities as creators as we work on producing future outcomes with our current actions. Take a ‘green’ step toward that goal today. If it is a personal goal of decreasing energy use, start with changing those light bulbs. If it is a larger goal of decreasing negative effects on the environment, start by learning as much as you can. Opportunities for action in positive change will present themselves. Be ready for daily steps toward your goal.”
Thanks, Kathy, for being a Creator with you vision of a healthy world to pass on to future generations; for being Challenger to us all to learn and take action; and for being a Coach as an environmental educator helping us to ask and answer the vital questions of our time.