Asking myself the same questions that I generally ask people I interview for the site, and reflecting on the outcomes of the interview I made for the Luzerner Zeitung, I realized there was still some distance I could take to understand what sustainability means in my life. I could not however put the finger on what was missing in my mind.
The answer came from a blog post from a French blogger, Pauline, on her site Un invincible été. Her article, "Critics of a priviledged ecology" actually told the words I could not find myself (the picture above is an abstract from her article).
In her well-thought, well-written story based on her personal experience of implementing ecological principles and practices in her life, Pauline explains that her priorities had to dramatically change as her financial situation deteriorated with time. Her argumentation goes along the line that living sustainably in all its levels (buying eco-friendly products or organic food, experiencing slow mobility, and sharing feedback against those who do not try hard enough) is only possible when you do not need to worry about your daily survival.
Pauline's words hit me in the face with a fact that I was not totally aware of, or at least that I had not admitted out loud: I am priviledged.
I am white, young, and I live in a country which is safe and safe for women to thrive. I have a job and a good income when combined with my working husband. We are all healthy (knock on wood), we live in a nice place in a nice neighbourhood, and I never had to fight for my living. To summarize, my life has been safe and comfortable so far.
How does such a statement impact my thinking and my work here on OUTSIDE THE BOX?
Sustainability has been a core value of mine since pretty much forever. I do think that the principles I have applied to my lifestyle, my decisions, my actions and my thoughts have been fairly "down to Earth": I try to identify what is feasible rationally, and I especially try to not cast the first stone as I am also fully aware of my own limits and my room for improvements.
It is not easy to put yourself in someone else's shoes.
But I'll keep on kicking myself to do it as often as I can, to remove any possible touch of arrogance my posts could carry, and to share others' words with the simplicity, honesty and transparency they deserve.
And if I ever lean in the wrong direction, you are more than welcome to let me know.