This Sustainable Life

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506: I lost $10 million on September 11, 2001. Here is what I learned from those who sacrificed and served.

Ep. 506

Sorry for the slow pace of this episode, but just before recording I looked at the firehouse across the street from my apartment, the small plaque naming the firemen who died trying to help others, and the flowers people put there for them, which led me to lose it as I started recording.

I've never considered the changes to my life meaningful in comparison, despite my losses being greater than anyone I know who didn't die or was related to someone who died for the obvious reason that no material loss compares. Not even close.

But twenty years later, it occurs to me that not communicating about the loss and what I learned from it doesn't help either, because when faced with a huge material loss---I lost about ten million dollars and the future I'd sacrificed other dreams for---we can choose to give up or we can choose to find our values and live by them, if not the fleeting material stuff.

In this episode I share what I live for, what in part I learned from the firefighters who served that day, the servicemembers who enlisted for years to come, as well as from others who lost. We can prevent far greater losses than September 11, than the Holocaust, than the Atlantic slave trade in conserving and protecting our environment.

I choose to devote my life to the greatest cause of our time, in helping the most number of people from the greatest amount of suffering of any time.

If you'd like to help, we who choose to serve, could use your help. But we don't have to enter towering infernos. We eat vegetables instead of takeout, live closer to family instead of flying to and from them, have one child, and learn to lead others to enjoy the same. Contact me if you'd like to join.

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6/20/2022

596: Sandra Pérez, part 1: Keeping New York's LGBTQIA+ Pride March clean

Ep. 596
Sandra took responsibility when she didn't have to, as the Executive Director of NYC Pride, to respond to my requests to talk to an organizer. Longtime listeners and readers of my blog know that last year, I was disgusted by the garbage covering Washington Square Park the morning after New York City's 2021 Pride March. I posted pictures and video with the quote from another person in the park I saw that morning, "Pride destroyed the park."It turns there are two Pride Marches and the other one ended in Washington Square Park, not the one Sandra organized, but she knew not everyone would know to distinguish them, the public could associate the mess with the whole community, and, in any case, both polluted too much.Beyond responding, we met in their headquarters with about a month before the March. They were very busy. We talked about what they could do this year and for the future.We also did the Spodek Method you are all used to hearing me do with leaders as guests on this podcast. We didn't record that first conversation, but agree to record the second---that is, this one---where we'd cover what we didn't record and she would share the results of that commitment.She also put me in touch with other staff to incorporate sustainability more in their efforts. It remains to be seen how much happens. Can they follow in my footsteps to improve participants' experiences by reducing their pollution ninety percent in under three years? I hope to help them do it. Everyone benefits.NYC Pride's home pageMy pictures and video of Washington Square Park the morning after the 2021 March