Sep 7, 2010


The word invokes images of southern plantation houses, wills and foundations begot by rich donors and aristocracy, but the actual definition of Legacy in our modern day society is starting to change. We will leave this place behind one way or the other and the question that we all need to really ask ourselves is "How will the world be different because of my actions?"

Last night I could not fall asleep as ideas kept rolling through my mind about what kind of place we will leave behind. Our future is not set in stone and their are unknowns from every angle that twist our ambitions and desires without us even knowing. What we do know is that there is a choice about what we do with this life that we have.

Do we choose to continue to buy and sell our natural resources overreaching nature's ability to replace and compensate? Do we choose to continue to seek material wealth and forget our connections to our family, communities and city? I tossed and turned all night thinking about the underlying motivation that most people have if they are not mindful. Our motivation determines our actions, behaviors and thoughts. If we are motivated with a "live for today" type of attitude with no thought of the future, we will erode our ability to be happy, secure and low impact. We also cannot only live for the future as we live in this world today. What we need is a balance.

Sustainable Seattle is concerned with our legacy as a people in the greater Seattle area. What kind of environment, people and economy are we going to bequeath on our children and their children? We cannot live for today only and still have a sustainable future and we need to understand the actual facts of our actions. Without mindful thinking and correct actions we are leaving this place worse off then when we found it.

This idea of mindfulness does not have to be anything beyond thinking about consequences and the actual cost of materials, actions and our attitudes. We need to think about how we spend our money, how we interact with our fellow beings and of course, what kind of person we want to be. It is simple really. We cannot afford to define ourselves by our stuff anymore. We need a new definition that is created from our relationships, experiences and our actions. After all we are human beings not human havings.

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