Thoughts on enough-ness, part ✌🏻
Digging further into what drives us away from enough-ness and adequacy, racial powers in America, recycling myths, and Ai Wei Wei
|Steven Wakabayashi||Sep 15|| 1|
Two weeks ago, I had posted about feelings of "not enough-ness" that I’ve been struggling to address. Got lots of amazing notes and feedback from many of you, and this sentiment is more pervasive than we think.
A few thoughts and insights:
Why are we always comparing ourselves to others? The truth is, no matter where we are in life, there will always be someone richer, more popular, stronger, smarter, and more productive than us. If we can’t find satisfaction with where we are currently, we’ll never be happy. (Also, if we are comparing ourselves to other people who don’t feel enough… what else do we expect? 🤷🏻♂️)
We need to take social media with a grain of salt. A feed is often the highlight reel of someone’s life. At worst, all manufactured. Whatever happened to those poorly cropped food photos and poorly color-graded selfies? It’s time we focused it entirely on us and the message we want to put out into the world. Forget trying to 1-up everyone else and stop chasing after digital validation because…
The validation we seek can only come from ourselves. No matter what we do, we cannot accept the validation we hope to get if we are not open to it in the first place. No matter what we post on social media, how much money we make, how many friends we have, or how much we have accomplished… the fulfillment we yearn for is actually our own. In our perfectionism, we become starved of our own acceptance.
In the blink of an eye, our lives will pass us by. With each passing year, time accelerates faster. Life would be such a shame if we didn’t pause, reflect, and smile for just one moment.
To be alive is a miracle in itself.
And with that, we are enough. I am enough. You are enough. 🌱
The true color of power
The New York Times created a fascinating interactive article detailing the ethnicities of some of the most powerful people in America. Out of 922 individuals, only 180 are people of color. To put this into perspective, 80% of the most powerful people in America are white, and they only account for 60% of the US population.
Plastic was a lie
We found that the industry sold the public on an idea it knew wouldn't work — that the majority of plastic could be, and would be, recycled — all while making billions of dollars selling the world new plastic. The industry's awareness that recycling wouldn't keep plastic out of landfills and the environment dates to the program's earliest days, we found. 'There is serious doubt that [recycling plastic] can ever be made viable on an economic basis,' one industry insider wrote in a 1974 speech.
Back in college, I took an environmental science class that taught me important lessons about plastic:
Plastic is downcycled. Upon recycling, it can only be made into lower quality goods. A water bottle will be recycled into a dressing jar, which is recycled into a milk jug, which is then sent straight to the trash.
Plastic can only be recycled with plastic that is exactly like it. Colored plastic cannot be mixed together, and different grades of plastic polymers will not fuse properly together.
There aren’t enough processing facilities in the world to recycle the amount of plastic that is consumed on a daily basis. Plastic is shipped by the ton to wastelands in India and China. There is even a huge plastic island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean made from the plastic litter in the ocean.
Remember the grade school phrase, "reduce, reuse, and recycle?" Reduce. That is the very first step in creating a sustainable culture.
Master artist Ai Wei Wei released a documentary about the coronavirus and the authoritarian government handling of it in Wuhan. The trailer is extremely haunting.
As always, thanks for reading!
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Have a beautiful day!