You Owe it to Yourself

In this, my first post for this blog, I should like to speak on duty. For myself, and what I would assume are the majority of people, the reason to pursue sustainability in life is because of a keen sense of duty to the greater world. Not that it makes me more honorable than others who do not feel this sense of duty, but for me it stems from a conviction that it is right to act as a caretaker for the world, no matter how little I can actually care for with my actions alone. The group that maintains this blog is a group of students at Albright College who live in a school-owned house created for people who want to develop a sustainable lifestyle. As students living in this house, we all are assigned to work together on a project that will in some way leave the school in a better state than when we found it. Together we decided that the best way to do so would be to shift the focus of the house from being primarily a data station which measured how much its residents consumed resources, to creating programs that would educate people about sustainability. We all feel a sense of duty to the world, but we also feel a duty to our peers at school, to serve them, and to our school, to serve it. Unanimously we decided that as students in a position to help our school emulate the values that brought us together, the best way to achieve that is to unite everyone who feels the sense of duty we feel, but don’t have the means we do to make an impact with them beyond themselves. By bringing like-minded sorts together, and trying to foster a like-mindedness in students outside of our particular interest range, we are going to make an impact greater than the sum of its parts, for the betterment of everyone we work with and the college as a whole – we hope. Admittedly, our ambitions are lofty for a group of five working out of a little cottage behind the dormitories, but I believe that they need to be. Duty to a cause is impotent without ambition, because ambition puts a duty in the center of the crosshairs and serves as a driving force for service. We are ambitious because that is what we need to do more, and we want to do as much as we can for our peers, our school, and the world, even just our slice of it. For those of you who also feel that duty to the world, and do so in spite of the culture of the time which puts little value on our cause, I salute you for nurturing in yourselves a purpose that others would call pointless. In the world we live in, it’s hard to hold yourself to standards that your neighbors don’t and have no desire to. We at the Sustainability House have had to do so a while, but since finding each other, it has rekindled our duty and our ambition, and together, we are going to make an impact, for the betterment of our world, our school, our fellow students, and ourselves. We’re going to do so because we have each other, and together we are have more capability to do so than we ever had before. If your cause is just, odds are good you are not the only one who follows it. Search out the people in slice of the world who want to be caretakers, and get to know them. Duty isn’t something that you hold to yourself, but something meant to be shared with others, because when you look beyond yourself, you find ways to attain your loftiest ambitions. -BFAC

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