Joshua Foer: Feats of memory anyone can do.
Barry Schwartz: The Paradox of Choice
Chris Jordan: Picturing Excess
This TED talk reminded me of a saying I like; “No single raindrop thinks it is responsible for the flood”
Warning – can of ‘my pet rant’ somehow got opened below…
– for me, the raindrop saying above refers to the kind of shift in thinking that is necessary if we’re to solve the problem of planet earth’s dwindling natural resources. We need to relearn to think collectively, to be mindful of the balance between other-centredness and self-centredness, even to ask ourselves before small actions, would I still do this if the outcome was multiplied by 5 million? e.g. getting a takeaway cup when you can sit in the cafe for your coffee – the way italians intended (google ‘slow-food movement’) – or just take the reusable cup! If we can all remember the iPhone, wallet, etc, surely the keepcup isn’t too much of an added intellectual burden.
The ‘5 million’ question has profoundly affected some of my old habits – all of a sudden my conscience just won’t allow me to take small actions like the takeaway coffee cup, or the disposable wee plastic container of water inflight, or polystyrene EVER… as I’m all too aware of the path that action is leading the planet down. The little things really do add up (queue Ghandi: ‘be the change you wish to see’). Sure, I, like everyone else, would love to see a beautiful, healthy, functioning, joyful planet. But – wishing for it without taking actual practical steps towards it, is total futility.
Pan the camera back from a street-corner close up, to a bustling city, to the country, to the continent – and think about the millions of people going about millions of small actions throughout their day. How cognisant is each individual (raindrop) of the environmental impacts of the collective? (flood). Standing in the supermarket selecting a cleaning product; how many peop’s stand there picturing the city’s water systems, and realise that these chemicals will end up going down their sink into the ocean, into the seafood that they’ll eventually consume the next time they eat fish?
I think I’m beating the issue to a pulp here, but it is actually the guts of my day job 😉