I have been besieged by news, lately, that say things like “why are we thanking John McCain when the real heroes are the female Republicans who worked so much harder the cross the aisle and vote against the repeal and replace plan” and things like “yes, but shouldn’t we support wind power and not just solar?” And “yes, but why are we talking about respect for transgendered in the military when we need to acknowledge xxx in the xxx.” “Black lives matter, but what about white lives?” “The environment matters but what about our businesses?”
Why are we all about “yes, but” when we need more “yes, and?”
True sustainability comes with the phrase “yes, and”. We need to celebrate and support black lives and all other lives as well. There is not downside to black lives matter, because no one is suggesting they matter more than any other lives, they are simply reminding us that, despite the stupidity of racism, black lives matter, as do all other lives.
When it comes to efficiency and renewable energy, we need every tool in the kit, starting from efficiency and waste reductions to geo exchange to solar thermal and PV and wind power. We need a whole lot of “and”.
Basically, there is nothing useless except inaction.
And we need to understand that the only way to tout those that have made a stand and voted to hold the ACA is to tout all of them, male and female, republican and democrat. It makes no sense to waste our time saying John McCain is getting too much credit, blah blah blah. Let’s use our energy to say “thank you Senators Collins, McCain and Murkowski for standing up against your peers and voting not to repeal and replace with a law that would remove safety and insurance for 20 plus million Americans. Let’s understand that this is NOT about thank you to the democrats OR the republicans, but thank you to the democrats AND the republicans.
There is a huge detriment to saying “or” as well as in using the qualifier “but”. Do you know that in facing climate change, in dealing with social equity, in dealing with engagement of all social structures we need every “and” we have?! This is a time for every solution, for celebration of every voice, every demographic and every age. We need the millennials, the Gen Z-ers, the baby boomers and every other demographic age to understand sustainability and the challenge we are facing regarding climate change. We need urbanites and gang-bangers and hicks and hipsters to unite in greening our living styles. Why are we working so hard to draw lines BETWEEN people when our efforts must be unified and ensure that each and every perspective makes strides that are of use from their perspective. It’s all GOOD. It’s ALL good. Why does this scare people so much? Is there a greening effort that is not valuable? I think not. Have at it. Do what needs doing and then some. I expect if there is anything truly useless it will quickly be proven out as such. Furthermore, we will not waste the energy, even when we “fail” because those efforts will show us useful paths to explore going forward.
Basically, there is nothing useless except inaction. There is nothing that undermines engagement except labeling.