A few months ago I had changed the banner that sits at the top of the introduction page to my web space (which this is a part of). I have been thinking deeply about change and really found meaning in the following quote. It is a famous inspirational quote of Mohandas ‘Mahatma’ Gandhi that has been translated into English. The quote reads, “Be the change that you want to see in this world.” Simple, yet profound. In many ways this has been the mantra through which I have been viewing this course, and much of my own teaching this semester. In many ways, this quote sums up my visioning. I want to inspire change. I want to awaken students to the understanding that change is inevitable, that change is necessary, that the needs are immediate, and that change is already happening. I want my students to understand that they have the ability to create change; to be change. I want this for myself, for my family, my children, and for my students.
As I try to envision the larger picture; the ideal situation towards which I strive, I see myself living as a positive example. I see myself working hard towards living a lifestyle that contributes to the sustainability of human existence on our planet. I dream one day of owning a house that is not only ‘off the grid’ in terms of demanding gas and electricity to be supplied, but one that generates a surplus of electricity to give or sell back to the community. I dream of living in a community of like-minded people who are thinking, acting and living sustainably. I dream of looking back on my teaching career and realizing that I was able to make a difference; that I was able to awaken teenagers to the realities and to the truths of our world; that I was able to communicate a message of hope; and that I was able to inspire young people to create change. I hope that I can inspire children to create significant change; real change that has an impact on our culture and the mindset of many people; change that leads us to living sustainably as a culture. I hope to be able to lead as an example. I hope to be able to live as the best possible example, especially for my own children. I want my own children to live healthy, happy, creative lives through which they have a positive footprint on the earth.
I want to educate children about sustainability and sustainable energy sources. I want to educate children about carbon emissions and about positive global footprints. I want to share the messages of so many important thinkers. I want children to understand what David Suzuki, Chris Jordan, Al Gore, Peter Senge, and so many others are talking about. I want children to be literate of the truths and the real issues of their time. And I want to be careful not to overwhelm them. There are so many problems and issues facing this, and future generations. There are so many examples of how we are not living in sustainable ways on this planet. The information, the facts, and the images can be completely overloading, overwhelming, and quite depressing. I want to be careful at balancing informing with inspiring. There is a serious risk of overwhelming individuals with truth, sometimes creating a feeling of hopelessness. I want to provide positive examples of change that is already happening. I want to communicate a message of hope.
In a nutshell, this is my vision statement. I want to be the change that I want to see in this world. I want to awaken and inspire others to do the same. The change that I want to see is to live sustainably in ways in which we are not taking more from the earth than it can supply, and in ways that do not take away from future generations.