I’m now four hours from Chicago, and without trying to over glamorise the trip, it has been truly wonderful in so many respects: Scenery, fellow passengers, comfort, great pace, and a glimpse of four states and of America, and some of their towns and cities..
Sunset dinner in the dining carriage with an interesting late thirties woman with a 9 month old: She was moving from Los Angeles to a small town in Indiana, after having lived for ten years in New York City, and now totally had enough of the big city values and lifestyle. Moving from NYC she thought California would be better but after trying Los Angeles now, she realised it’s the Big Cities and The System that is ‘the problem’. Being part of a US Navy family, she’d lived many years overseas when she was younger, and ended by saying: “Maybe I shouldn’t be trying Indiana, but rather be leaving America?
At Raton, New Mexico, a huge contingent of boy scouts joined us at and I ended up immersed in conversation with four of them: Sixteen year olds, having just spent two weeks on a wilderness camp. Well, different to my California experience, here I found young people who had a perspective of Nature that was both confused but surprisingly enlightened for their age. Two of the three had travelled overseas the one had even been to South Africa.
When I asked whether they think humans are part of Nature or something special and different, they said they believed we should be part of Nature, but we have drifted away and aren’t anymore. I explored more what Nature is and how it works, and they all agreed without doubt that we should be part of Nature, and as they spoke I saw a real pain in their expressions. Almost like they shouldn’t be saying that as they were breaking a promise that they weren’t to tell anyone that?? My eyes welled up, and I shared with them how sad I find this this fact is, but how great it is that they realise this and were sharing their hearts with me…..
They didn’t know about the extent of our ‘One Point Six and ever increasing’ problem, but as I took them through it they got ‘it’ all straight away, and I sensed a huge shock, but interestingly there was also a desire to explore and understand. Unlike many older people, this exchange seemed free of guilt / denial baggage, and there was almost a sense of excitement of a new unknown they were discovering.
Like I have done many times with the younger generation, I then openly apologised to them for what ‘My Generation’ have done. Almost in mitigation highlighting the fact that we are the first generation to actually have ‘The Facts’ that show us ‘for the first time’ what many generations of society have done. It was now for them to decide what to do, and I shared how I was exploring the unknown myself, how to help and what I should do…?
I then moved the conversation to their personal context? We spent four hours talking through all this and what it could mean for their life / career choices, and this all helped me see that the best thing a young person needs today is to have strong life explorer and a life adventurer skills…. We need a quite different new path, but one that uses the great things from the current path, yet set in a future One Point Zero context, where Nature is Supreme. This requires radical explorers, and extreme adventurers who are fearless for the unknown, and sceptical of passed down truths, and with that mind set the life journey will be Fun, Challenging and Rewarding.
It was a valuable time together for all of us, and I just wondered if any of you reading this have shared One Point Zero with your ‘young adults’ and how you deal with these seemingly difficult discussions. Not having kids, it’s easy for me to have these discussions, but it made me realise that if I did have kids I’d hope they already knew about all this because of my proactive leadership! If they didn’t know then once I knew the One Point Zero story I’d definitely be sharing it and make the sharing and guidance part of my contribution to mitigating my generation’s ‘guilt’… Or maybe ‘ignorance is bliss’ and keep it all away from ‘them’….? I can’t see how that is good for anyone, but…. I don’t know? This is all challenging stuff!
Trumped by Nature is delivering what I envisaged, and if I’d flown from NZ to Minneapolis, it would have just been a day or two, but man I’d never have had the rich and challenging experience I’m currently having…
I’m only one third of the way through the adventure, but already I have no doubt that these three months at the coalface of the One PointZero interface with Society will have a profound impact on decisions once I’m back in New Zealand, and my future activist journey. For now, let the adventure continue….
After three days in Albuquerque, and overloaded with CNN, I felt ready to start the next leg of Trumped by Nature, a US Public Transport experience: Its 27 hours by Amtrak railway to Chicago, then a 9 hour overnight Greyhound bus connection to Minneapolis, just over the Mississippi River from my Blind friend Imi in Wisconsin.
I hear Imi saying to me: “It would have only taken you half a day from San Diego by air: We could have spent a whole lot more days together and it would have been a lot easier for you?” In our past three US adventures (See here) I did do the ‘flying thing’ but this time the adventure includes the goal of me trying to do it within my One Point Zero restraints.
Knowing that “Easier for me” wasn’t the goal I had to remind myself that I’m exploring sustainable travel, and ask myself how I’m doing so far? Well I proudly tell people I’m in the USA, having crossed the Pacific Ocean, with no bigger footprint than if I’d stayed in Nelson, NZ, living a ‘normal life’! But you have just driven 900 miles with Bob in his car, how does that fit in, Howard??
Well I was sort of a hitch-hiker, riding on the back of Bob’s trip to Albuquerque anyway. I can tell you this wasn’t easy, as right up until the last minute I said to Bob: “I ‘d rather take the bus, if you going there just for me, hey?” This was challenging for me, and tested my One Point Zero priority and resolve. In setting out on this ‘Trumped by Nature’ adventure, I wanted to experience the coalface of the conflict and here it was again. Bob said he wanted to go anyway, so I took a hitch hiker’s credit, and left him with the full footprint cost?
A foot print that would have amounted to 5% of my annual footprint allowance! Yep, just 3 days of motor car travel with two of us sharing the total footprint. For someone driving solo there and back, or a ‘taxi’ loading the whole footprint onto ‘the passenger’ it would be a scary 20% of their total annual footprint ‘allowance’. The average American drives 13 400 miles a year, and if that’s done alone that person is over their ‘allowance’ just on driving, let alone all the other ‘just living’ footprint generated! Obviously all those miles are not as the only one in the car but I hope you can see the seriousness of ‘our’ problem. The concept of an ‘allowance’ for each one of us is probably totally foreign to many of ‘you’?
The ‘allowance’ here assumes each of us 7.6 billion humans is allocated equal share of Nature’s scarce regenerative bio-capacity. The very bio capacity that we currently need 60% more of and our planet hasn’t got it. One Point Zero is about living within the single planet capacity Nature has available. Back to the ‘allowance’ of this capacity:
As I often get told: “That’s how you (Howard) have decided to allocate that capacity, but I haven’t agreed with that yet!!” That’s true, and wondering if ‘they’ have even accepted the fact that that we are 60% over the capacity, I respond: “Yep, ‘mate’ I accept that and ‘Yep’, I can’t force you to accept how I worked out my capacity allowance, but let me know what planet bio capacity allocation you come up with for You? May be you have a better way that would help me too… ?”
This is challenging stuff, but once I accepted ‘My allocation’ I became surprisingly peaceful and it’s now all a fun exploration of how to do it that fits perfectly with my soul! ‘My allocation’ works out at some 3-5 times lower than what an average developed world citizen uses…..! That’s the extent of ‘Our Challenge’, but I just wish more would see it as OUR challenge….
Travel by train and bus both have very low footprint versus flying and so that’s what this current travel leg to Minneapolis and my friend Imi, is about. (Of course the best footprint is not travelling, but I‘m not giving up on what I love yet!) I’m writing this on Amtrak’s Superliner, but in the non-elite, coach class section, and really enjoying the different experience as the New Mexico terrain changes from semi desert to what I’d call more fertile savannah! Interestingly, all the people I ask why they are going by train, give ‘cost’ and / or ‘just very pleasant’ as the reasons, none about ‘their foot print’.
After arriving in Minneapolis on Tuesday, Imi and I are renting a car to drive from his house in Wisconsin to the Boundary Waters in Minnesota for our two week canoe expedition in its pristine wilderness. The car trip there and back, will be some 800 miles. “Now how does that footprint work for you, Howard?”
For both cost and carbon footprint reasons, we did try to get a bus or lift to the Boundary Waters, but this proved a huge challenge, forcing us into the rental car option, and I had a footprint challenge, that had to be solved.
Well just like the master wheeler dealer, Mr Trump, I came up with a deal. Unlike his one’s which no doubt all increase the planets carbon footprint, and feed his appetite for greed, mine seems footprint legitimate, enables me to be with my buddy, and fits with my soul!
Imi, (Professor Imtiaz Moosa, Head of Philosophy at Wisconsin University, River Falls) is one of the few people of his socio economic class who is a sub One Point Zero-er, and has been for years, even before the concept came up! I’m always interested in how he managed to avoid be sucked into the western consumption, greed and materialism life? His blindness has helped, reduce temptation of visual marketing, but it all started well before he went blind, and is a complex mixture of cultural upbringing, his philosophical explorations, and an ability to belong with himself which means he is not swayed by the ‘fashions’ required to belong to ‘The Crowd’.
From day one on our 2010 Yukon River trip, we just hit it off as two ‘boys’ who value the simple life, and had a pretty common view of Nature, how our planet works and how we humans fit in to it all. Imi sometimes puts me to shame on the simplicity of need, I know that may sounds scary for some of you, but having spent so many months with him in the USA, Canada, Tanzania, and New Zealand, I know Imi is a rare, USA based, icon of low consumption, simplicity of need, and a total abhorrence of conspicuous consumption, and The Good Life ideology.
So in the context of One Point Zero, Imi lives a life that is below ‘the allowance’, and as such is a walking carbon footprint credit!
Imi loves the wilderness, I love the wilderness, Imi and I love sharing time in the wilderness together, and this time I’m constrained by my One Point Zero, ‘allowance’.
I realise Imi has his footprint credit and being blind can’t drive himself to the wilderness? (Yet, amazingly he can navigate me there!) I can help him spend the credit for something we both want, provided I don’t get the footprint loaded on to me? So if he signs ‘my indemnity form’ to say I’m ‘Just his driver’, we have a wonderful win-win-win deal!!
Ha-ha, ‘Donald’ I’m learning from you, man, without paying your rip off ‘University’ tuition fees, but can you see how my deal is all above board and also doesn’t result in some huge footprint generating and Trump enriching result! The carbon fingerprint of a casino is huge, and surely can’t be justified as being necessary for human flourishing in a future One Point Zero world.
Now when Imi reads this he will ‘hit the roof’ as he is an inspiration in independence and self-sufficiency, and so ‘help’ is not a word in his vocabulary! Anyway given our relationship, I know he will understand the whole intent of this Post!
In sharing the above I sense many will conclude that there are much more fun, important, meaningful things than trying to fit my ‘footprint in my allowance’? I could see why one could conclude that, but for me the whole mindful step is the most valuable and one that makes me realise I am part of a home that I should care for and Nature’s system that I should respect. I’m mindful of consequences of my decisions to the planet and my fellow humans, both current and future generations. I know this may sound so cute, stupid or pointless when so many others are not doing this, but I wish I could describe how liberating it feels as I strive to be a mindful, and ‘proper human’, not an arrogant, exploiting, couldn’t care less, anthropocentric one….. And I say that not wanting to come across ‘holier than thou’, but rather from a point of real despair that society can’t see the flaw of its journey to ‘The Facts’ of today.
San Diego to Albuquerque, a drive that most people would say would be boring, and “best you go as fast as you can”….! With mostly a 75 mph highway speed limit, we could have been there in 11 hours! My brother-in-law Bob, had his own ‘business’ to do beyond Albuquerque, and so in my desire to find the soul of the American South West, I was often playing the ‘bad boy’ handbrake. I was never bored….probably over stimulated…so read on:
Eventually it took us 3 days, crossing California, Arizona, and almost halfway across New Mexico: Taking the southern route going west via Tucson, Tombstone, and then before El Paso, heading north from Los Cruces up to Albuquerque. All in all about 900 miles, in desert and semi desert terrain, and dealing with temperatures that topped 45 degree centigrade (115 F) temperatures.
Before we turned to go north the road followed the Mexican border just tens of miles south, and the enormity and the extent of Mr Trump’s wall was blatantly apparent. There were road checkpoints every now and again, and with our obvious non-Mexican roots, we were waived on with little interest. I could see how this vast border and its close proximity to the highway facilitating the temptations of illegal immigration, and how with the cowboys now almost extinct a wall is being contemplated! Or are the cowboys in revival and is Mr Trump the new ‘Cowboy in town’ barging into the comical saloon’…?? (See more below!)
We left San Diego just days after the Dallas shooting, and so as we travelled the USA was busy working out what this all means for them personally and the nations as a whole. Arriving in Tucson on the day of the police officer funerals, President Obama’s funeral speech, and talking with locals and getting a feel for the South West slant on the situation was enlightening. I sensed that adding this developing racial dimension onto the already unpalatable Clinton and Trump picture is moving American and its people into a place they don’t want to be, and one that is fuelling angst and increasingly divisions. (More below.)
With endless flat pains, bordered by impressive mountain ranges, the cactus vegetation was occasionally interrupted by fertile farmlands kept alive by man’s ingenious connections to Nature’s big rivers: The Colorado, Rio Grande being the most notable. We found much evidence of Man’s greed and misunderstanding of Nature where Nature’s arteries had been sucked dry and the dependent communities forced to leave.
To my utter amazement one such community, was named Fairbank, and it was the transportation centre for the bustling silver mining area that formed around the neighbour town of Tombstone.
Tombstone was the scene of the Wyatt Earp shoot outs, a Hollywood movie of the same name, and is a true western cowboy town. With its initial attraction of silver mining no more, it is prospering as a tourist hole, for those with an interest in reliving its past. Over the 35 years span of living in and visiting America, I’ve been to many of old US cowboy towns, but with my more enlightened truth searching mind set Tombstone provided some more shocking truths. (More below)
Soon after our turn to head North we passed through the town named ‘Truth or Consequences’ and I can only but feel that my One Point Zero destiny brought me along this route. To me and Mr Gandhi (“My Life is My Message”), life is just about The Truths, strive to live by them, and dealing with personal integrity the consequences of not living by them.
With my deep One Point Zero thinking time on the ship from New Zealand, followed by the shock of my now two weeks in the US, I feel strongly that Society, The Crowd’, are either being purposely prevented from seeing ‘The Truths’, and or ‘The Crowd’ knows ‘The Truths’ and is in selfish ‘convenient denial’. Either way the situation deeply concerns me as a person who walks his truths, is deeply concerned about the path of Humanity.
So Truth or Consequences had deep meaning for me, and as we passed through Bob was reluctant to stop, as I’d told him the huge Society and America significance these three simple words meant. I’d had a few very disturbing racially scary interactions with people in Tombstone, and I wondered how much America was in Truth denial, and the disturbing consequences are nor revealing themselves all over the American society. Maybe the truth is that hypocrisy prevails….?
These are the times of real aloneness, when one accepts that silence is more productive than discussing the truths. I spent the next hour seemingly staring at the vast desert and straight road ahead, but inside me I wondered whether silence was cowardice, and passive belonging with the lies of ‘The Crowd’ that I seemingly openly detest?
This certainly hadn’t been a boring drive as many had intimated it would be…. Exploring ‘The Truths’ and Consequences of Life and Society, can never be boring… To me: “That is Life!”
We soon arrived into the metropolis of Albuquerque, and in with truly amazing team work, Bob and I explored the city without a map or GPS assistance finding the ‘perfect’ motel for our different needs: Bob would leave early in the morning, and I’d be based for rest and exploring, before joining Amtrak on Sunday for my ‘sustainable’ train trip to Chicago. From there it’s Greyhound to Minneapolis, and my blind friend Imtiaz Moosa.
Tombstones, Truth, Consequences and The Future
In the past seven days there have been two major world ‘atrocities’: The Dallas police killings, and now the Nice, Bastille Day, carnage…..! Then yesterday the Turkish attempted coup. Three weeks ago was Brexit, and a country is left without a vision for its contested liberty, and rather is left dealing with the crisis ‘vision’ of minimising the damage. Next week is the Republican Convention, to anoint a potential world leader who seemingly has a vision but one associated with that of the lone cowboy. In anticipation of ‘another tragic event’, amongst unprecedented security initiatives, Cleveland has prepared jail facilities for almost 1000 new prisoners, and has set up an almost 24 hour court infrastructure that includes 12 judges be able to work 10 hour shifts for the whole week.
All around me, I feel that with all these happenings, The Nation (The whole world?) is on tenterhooks. I suspect that for all of us, these events dig into our souls, but we can react by finding distraction, connecting with lies, or searching for the truths and answers for ourselves? . Using the town of Tombstone for its reflecting tombstone significance There were lots of museums and recreations of the past.
I struggled to find a deeper message than the obvious cowboy shootout story and its link to courage and lawlessness. The devastation of the Apaches, and the once vast indigenous wildlife, seemed to have significance only in their insignificant references, and how they added to the positive picture of domination and violent conflict. I even asked Americans in Tombstone what the real message of Tombstone was about, but I never found anything deep and meaningful forthcoming. Messages that could be used positively for the challenges we have in Society today. In fact the shallow messages I got were all supporting domination, power through technology (guns), and winning at all costs….
I was astounded to find both blatant and inferred unapologetic racism I found as I explored. One shopkeeper epitomises the feelings in her telling me that America needs all the blacks out of the country, and that Obama is the cause of all these racial problems. She told me that ‘all of us’ vote for Trump, and said with clarity and conviction that firstly he will keep the Mexicans out, secondly create jobs “so the lazy blacks have to work”, and thirdly he will make America the dominate power over the world again. I don’t see any value in sharing with you how she described ‘black people’, other than to say it was ‘disgusting’ and reminiscent of the words many white people would have used in South Africa 30 years ago before Mandela took over…..
Having come through apartheid in South Africa and having transformed my whole orientation on racial issues, colonisation, success, and the real value in traditional cultures I see the hindsight value of ‘tombstones’ in helping me understand what was right and what was wrong with the human course of the past.
Changing racially wired minds is almost impossible without some trauma like I had in South Africa driving personal motivation. Sadly I don’t see the appetite for voluntary trauma at either government or personal level, and maybe the serious compromise option is that the country is best reorganised around the racism truths in each area? Whatever the solutions to this difficult challenge, I sense relying on politically correct hypocrisy or denial of the Truths to smooth over a very real humanitarian failing will lead to more bloodshed and withering souls.
Beyond society, My Transformation then went further with a different ‘tombstone’ as my guiding reference: This ‘tombstone’, one larger than a human creation, a transcendental tombstone. With the past twelve years of looking at ‘Nature’s tombstone’, I realise we humans need to look as much back as we look forward for where we need to go….America seems to only want to look forward and forget the deep messages from The Tombstones….
Maybe as One Point Six, moves rapidly to One Point Seven, and One Point Zero becomes more distant reflecting on our ‘mistakes’ of the past is where we need to be spending more time, and we will find that Nature’s tombstone has the most valuable lessons of where we have gone wrong…. The messages will be painful, but each day we don’t that will get more painful to deal with! We need to find our power not in Domination through wealth and technology, but in our wonderful submission to Nature’s rules. Nature doesn’t have cowboys, nor heroes, just intensity to thrive within the rules with all the other players in Only Real The Game on offer!
The Last Supper…!
Before saying our goodbyes, Bob and I had a sentimental ‘last supper’ at a Mexican restaurant nearby our motel, and I was just astounded at the volume of food we were given. Bob could only manage half, and when the waiter came and asked if he wanted to take ‘it’ away, and Bob said “No” I asked the waiter what he would do with ‘it’? In a very matter of fact way he said: “Throw ‘it’ away”. With the waiter having left I turned to Bob and sought his agreement in the culture confronting statement, “That’s disgusting, mate, it really is?” Bob sensed I meant his wastage, but I explained I meant the culture of just loading up servings and all the waste. I looked around and without exaggerating 60% of the people in the restaurant would have qualified as overweight, or significantly overweight… This whole experience wasn’t a once off this aberration, this has been the norm since arriving and a norm I have always experienced in America, but now I have my One Point Zero activist hat on! This story is not about judging the individuals involved. We are all casualties. This is about The Facts that something serious is deeply wrong in The Success that is making all these casualties. It’s almost a crime by ‘the architects’ and I feel sad for the casualties who know no better of what is REALLY wrong.
The planet is suffering, the people are suffering, the blacks and whites are at war, the cowboys are returning, and ‘The Game’ of the world’s most powerful Nation just gets finessed to ‘improve’ it’s not negotiable ‘winning’ formula and definition of Success!
‘Nobody’ is looking back at the message from Tombstones and from Nature and questioning the path ahead, and what could be wrong? Questioning our success is failure? ‘Nobody’ is seeing that the wins are not real for Real Human Success. The more ‘the lies’ continue the more the human soul withers and loses its vital influence on the direction. (Read more here) Maybe this is the strategy of ‘The Architects’?
Man, I struggle with all this, and cannot for the life of me see where I’m going wrong in desiring a One Point Zero world for everyone! This is not about Me, nor Sustainability this is about Living as a ‘proper human’ within Nature’s ‘rules’ for Human Success, Present and Future: A success that is surely the most fundamental criteria for unselfish success for every single human?
If one is God fearing and believes Nature is a creation of God, then maybe God set up Nature as the ultimate ‘test game’ to see if all humans can work together irrespective of social class, culture, or creed to ensure human current and future success and existence.
Surely as an individual knowing living a One point Six life (or maybe even worse a Five Point Zero, wealthy high life?) isn’t going to get that ticket through the Pearly gates. Surely even worse, being a walk the talk for that life and promoting a world that is ever moving outside God’s game is a basis for not even getting a pearly gates interview? Surely the test for each of us irrespective of a desire to enter the pearly gates or not, is whether we individually lived within the resource constraints of the game of Nature?
I hope you feel that this isn’t judgement or criticism but rather a desperate call of despair…..
My time in San Diego has come to an end, in five hours I’ll be saying good bye to my sister Ros, and Jen and Jason, and Bob (my brother-in-law) and I head to Albuquerque. I have just come back from a sunrise, ‘last run’ with my sister, in the state park near where she lives. Real good Sister / Brother bonding that stuff that’s hard to describe, and I felt how I our bond had received some more rich flourishing food.
Over dinner last night we spoke about the intensity of the 9 days we have spent together: how great it has been to be with family who are so different yet just accept each other for who they are. Knowing my intensity and zest for life, combined with a radically different One Point Zero way of life our time together could have been difficult. I thanked them for not only ‘putting up’ with me but allowing Me to be Me, and for Them being Themselves. Our relationship had flourished and yet we had covered some very challenging ground, and we raised glasses filled with local Californian red, and toasted that success we had achieved. Jason and Jen independently arrived later and I was touched when both asked what time I was leaving in the morning as they wanted to be up to say good bye!
My sister and her family live a lifestyle that fits with their ‘wealthy 1%’ Californian status. and live in an icon neighbourhood that appears to me to closer to the 0.5% wealthy in their huge houses and obvious following of the conspicuous consumption ideology: One that I gave up many years ago and now see as a fundamental cause of our One Point Zero problem.
From the time I bicycled up the long driveway up to my sister’s home, I have been in a serious ‘way of life’ conflict. When I set out from New Zealand I knew this was going to be the case, and even discussed the possible ramifications with my sister. I told her that dealing with this conflict is part of what My One Point Zero Challenge is about and also what ‘Trumped by Nature’ was about.
So in many ways I had the support of both Ros and Bob to explore the values conflicts as a family, but I was fully aware that they would probably not know how challenging this would be. I knew that in managing the conflict I would be testing my ‘Walking the Talk’ of a One Point Zero value system and how it could challenge the relationship bonds.
In this context these past nine days have been very intense and have made me see that Our One point Zero Challenge is even more challenging than I thought.
Here in San Diego, I was with family who are real good ‘people’ at heart, and really want to be good citizens of America, good humans within mankind, and good followers of the Christian faith. Yet by the time I left, I sense One Point Zero will still not become anymore a guiding beacon in their lives than before I arrived.
Because of the frank and extensive exploring, both personally and within their community we did, I can see it wasn’t just about Ros and Bob.
If it was just ‘them’ that was ‘the problem’ I wouldn’t be sharing this seemingly intimate family content with you. In the many interactions with members of their community I came across the very same ‘disinterest’ in our One Point Six and growing problem!
In these nine days I was privileged to be given a window into an affluent Californian culture and values system that flies directly in the face of One Point Zero, and has little or no care for that fact.
Knowing the intense discussions we had, and their love and care for me, yet the reluctance to change has been a huge wake up call for me. I knew the whole One Point Zero picture would be confronting and not easy, but I had expected that in us being able to thrash out ‘The Facts’, and eventually connect ‘the human obligation’ within us to doing something about it. But disinterest to change once one knows ‘The Facts‘ and one’s personal contribution to making them worse, was a huge wake up call for me.
Beyond my family time, I have to say from the bottom of my heart that since I have arrived in the USA, I have not met one person who has any remote interest in doing something about Our One Point Zero Challenge. I have had many, many interactions with people, from young to old, some fairly casual, some very intense, and my shock has been the extremely low level of awareness. I compare this to my experience in South Island New Zealand and the high level of awareness I usually encounter, and I am shocked. One of the worst contributors to Our One Point Zero Challengeseems to be the least aware, and the most disinterested.
As I reflect on my 18 months in New Zealand, I realise how really Nature and Planet aware most New Zealanders are. I compare the many discussions regarding how Nature works, Sustainability, Human responsibility, etc., that I have had with school leavers in New Zealand, to the one I had with my San Diego educated nephew, and the gap is enormous. This wasn’t about Jason, my nephew this was seemingly about a society and education system that is void of any interest or priority in these areas. Its early days, and this seems a harsh and impossible conclusion…..
I’m taking this information as early day stock taking information, and as I leave California, the ‘Trumped by Nature’ exploration will move continue with a desperately open mind hoping that my Californian sample was a non-representative outlier!
In closing this post, I wonder how you relate to ‘The Facts‘, and Our One Point Zero Challenge. Maybe you don’t understand it all? Maybe you don’t know why we should care? Maybe you don’t know how trying to live a One Point Zero life would benefit you? Maybe you think I’m mad trying to do it, or that I do it because of some stupid duty, or moral law, and that I’m not doing it because I prefer that way of life, but because I want to suffer? Being with Ros and Bob, it was so clear to me that I have moved so far down a One Point Zero path that I don’t like their life style and much prefer mine. We discussed this and they did agree that they would like to have a simple, ethical life, but the change just seems so huge and impossible….. I said I read into what they are saying as being that they can’t see a good enough reason for them personally to change… This all leads to one’s soul…. I find it hard to believe that anyone can be at one and peaceful with their soul as a human and a member of the broader Humankind, if they are a contributor to the destruction of our home. As ‘The Facts‘ show, most of us who live in the Western world are not just contributors, but the biggest contributors and in many case the leaders of the destruction…..
My simple, small mind, says to me: Once one knows and accepts the above, then starting a journey to Your One Point Zero becomes the path to real Freedom and Belonging with the Soul. A Moral /Ethically based Freedom and Belonging that surely is at, or close to, the highest level one can seek to achieve as a human?
My next Post will be on the America of Now:
How I am feeling America as it deals with the Police shootings, the Presidential elections, etc….. As I explore I’m getting a rich picture of America toady, and its pulse, and I’ll share that with you in the next day or so….
My ‘Trumped by Nature’ adventure has entered a new (for me) blogging phase. Maybe you old hand, avid ‘Facebook-ers’ dealt with this a long time ago:
Just so I don’t disappoint you: This blog is not about sharing my everyday life and all its intimate personal experiences. Rather this One Point Zero Blog is part of my work as an activist. The blog is where I share my 3 month ‘Trumped by Nature’ adventure experiences only as they relate to this work: Our, My and Your, One Point Zero Challenge. Imagine you blogging your work, and what you would and wouldn’t share….? I’d honestly love to share some of the many dimensions of my time here in San Diego, suffice to say, I’m having a wonderful family, San Diego, and Howard, time!
Wimbledon Today in San Diego
In that restrictive context, I sit here typing this blog to you surrounded by Wimbledon memorabilia, a 2002 photograph of my two nephews with Roger Federer in the Wimbledon Players’ lounge, two huge glass encased Wimbledon Tennis balls, autographed by the world’s top tennis players of the day, and today is Wimbledon Men’s Final day.
I have had hours of reminiscing with my sister of the times she played centre court and her views of Wimbledon, Professional Tennis, and the loneliness of the professional in her day versus the professional today with their big entourages.
Then getting closer to One Point Zero, I press her on our society’s obsession with competition whether she things being paid to win, with the such high stakes of today has ‘turned us’ into a better society? Her husband Bob, as one of the top sports psychologists for many years, joins in the discussion and my loneliness increases as I challenge them both as we explore the truths on the role of Competition and Professional sport in Society today.
When I left society in 2004 on my Journey to the Truths, I vowed to myself was that I was not going to compete again: Competition had made me too focused on the endpoint of winning, and I sensed in the process I had become too rational, almost Machiavellian ‘non-human’, and was missing the learning in the relationship, spiritual and emotional journey dimensions. This was a huge change for me, coming from very competitive orientated family, and then always immersed in the competition of business, and many different competitive sports. I still set goals, but they weren’t about winning, making money, climbing social ladders, and records etc.
As I transformed more I became to see a goal as merely a beacon that defines ‘My Journey’, and actually while this beacon is important in setting the journey, I should be open and prepared to revisit the beacon and maybe move it if the learning indicated that best. The winning that the beacon supposedly stood for was not the idol.
In the twelve years where I dropped my competitive pursuits, society appears to have significantly increased its competitive focus, and the winning at all costs mind set, across business, sport and even at a social status level. Competition has a place in society, but I sense it’s grown too big, and we need to put it ‘back in its place’.
I see the huge problems of Corruption, Drugs / cheating in Sport, unethical Capitalism, and the increasing gap between the rich and poor as all signs that Competition has lost its ‘proper’ place in society. It’s not just the competition it’s how us, The Crowd, the spectators have been sucked into a huge industry that is centred on making money from the ‘entertainment of the competition’. The goal is a greedy capitalist one: How to make the most money, fame and power from ‘The Competition’ and this in the process has disproportionately increased these rewards to the winners, increasing the spiral the point that this is now a major contributor to Our One Point Zero Challenge.
Just like with all other creatures in Nature, Competition should have a natural, and very healthy role to play in the ‘human creature’ society. I believe that readjusting this out of control position of current society is part of what is needed for a Future One Point Zero world.
It was very special riding my bicycle up the driveway into my Sister’s home. And this on 4th of July. It had been a long hot day, and being excluded from the highway arteries I ended up doing quite a few more miles than the ‘lucky’ motorist with GPS navigation would have done. I only got ‘lost’ once, and so there we go the NZ to San Diego leg of Trumped by Nature done as sustainably as I knew how….!
Many have a sense that I’d have been immersed in gridlock traffic most of the way, but I have to say, the roads were very bicycle friendly mostly with generous bicycle lanes, and the last 10km had a great dirt track that I had all to myself. My sister lives about 25 miles NE of downtown, and pretty nice natural area.
Early the day before my sister had asked me if I ate hamburgers, I know trying to find out how serious I was with my commitment to ‘No Meat for One Point Zero’? I had decided to give One Point Zero a rest day, go with the flow and just embrace the warmth and 4th of July hospitality of being with my sister and her family.
True to the 4th July spirit it was full on gourmet BBQ’d hamburgers, and catching up on life in San Diego and in all its stories. It suddenly dawned on me how the Whole American culture is threatened at a very simple level with One Point Zero: Hamburgers, man? Wow, why had that taken me so long to realise that even the smallish step of stopping meat consumption would have a huge impact on America’s fast food business, but even more importantly challenge a key element of American culture.
Well as I am rapidly finding out this US Machine has no intention of changing, and McDonalds don’t seem to feel that a One Point Zero scenario is a threat!
This is what I got from the internet re rankings of vegetarian fast food offering, and how McDonalds stacks up:
McDonald’s doesn’t have much for vegetarians. Their fries are not vegetarian, they don’t have veggie burgers—it’s not even slim pickings, it’s no pickings. They do mention on their website that items can be ordered without meat, so at least there’s that. (This article was from September 2015, maybe since then the company’s Strategy Department have changed things to accommodate a ‘One Point Zero’ business case scenario!
The subjects around the BBQ moved around from the ‘old peoples’ reminiscing to our attempts to find connections beyond the niceties to the passions and interests of the younger generation of Jen and Jason. I was fascinated at what got engagement and what didn’t, and as the subject moved to beef, burgers, and zero point one, I decided to enjoy my rest day’ forgo the One Point Zero stuff, and explore the fun side. Never having had kids, but having been in many parent- young adult social situations, it often hits me how the pace of change in society is creating this huge interest disconnect between generations. All you parents out there will know this much better than me, and I sense many of you have your effective strategies to engage.
Sensing the burger story having run its course, and the disinterest gap growing I decided to throw caution to the wind and explore a bridging interest: I asked if anyone knew about ‘In n’ Out’ and showed them the photo below, and said that the night before I’d stayed in an area of Oceanside that must have been seedy, because right next to my motel was ‘Main Attraction’ Gentlemen’s club, and next to it ‘In ‘n Out’. I told them I’d been and decided to explore, and the logo for In ‘n Out’ was so much more clear in explaining its offering! I saw Jen and Jason, looking at me as though I’m crazy, and Ros and Bob looking at me with “Surely Howard doesn’t go to those places’ look, and then Ros moving as the ‘protective parent wondering “Hey I wonder where this going? I said and when I walked in I saw this sign and then new I was in the best place of the two….:
A burger joint!
Oh well, everybody laughed and all for different reasons, and that was so wonderful to experience. Exploring further Jen and Jason told me that contrary to me thinking it was a one off / small burger chain it was huge, growing and maybe even the coolest of the plethora of burger franchises. Well as an old school simpleton, I suggested that was because of the provocative name and suitably matched logo… The ‘young adults’ were in not quite aligned on that, and in their debate they did confirm that many do see the ‘clever’ conations of the name and Logo and it is discussed by their crowd!! Being a real fan of ‘In n Out’, Jason asked me if I’d ordered their ‘Double-double’ burger? I now know its their special of the specials, and said “Yes, I did too, Jason and it was amazing!” One of the older adults was shaking their head, and “surely you didn’t Howard, I thought you were off beef, because of One Point Zero?” I said to her: Don’t worry sister of course I wandered next door and tried out the ‘competitors ‘In ’n Out’ offering at the Gentleman’s Club! Well that certainly had us all bonded as a family in some bizarre common interest way!
So there you go I did have a full day off……!
Yesterday was back full on living the life and dealing with the challenge of even thinking about being a One Point Zero-er in a society that is so slick and organised that one is so easily swept up in its ‘Two-Point-Zero’ plus momentum…..
I knew ‘Trumped by Nature’ would hit its next challenge in dealing with how my ‘struggle’ for a One-Point-Zero life will conflict with my sister’s and her family life, and we discussed this up front and are ready for open discussion and debate. This is all part of trying to live within society but also aligned with my soul, but then adding the additional family challenge, as my sister is my sister and not just society….! Not that there are huge issues, but where there are way of life conflicts I’m being forced to bring them up and have us talk about them. This has all been very valuable, and we all have learnt a lot and are growing in the process. I’ll share more as appropriate, because managing relationships as one moves to a “Without Nature, we are Nothing” way of life, I have found I hit some fundamental conflicts with Western norms, and this is when the going can get quite painful.
AAAh, life on the Cap Capricorn was so simple hey!
Here I am ‘immersed’ in the spirit of 4th of July, Independence Day.
I decided to reflect on these 230 years and the impact they have had on The World and my life:
“Independence Day of the United States, also referred to as the Fourth of July or July Fourth in the U.S., is a federal holiday commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, by the Continental Congress declaring that the thirteen American colonies regarded themselves as a new nation, the United States of America, and no longer part of the British Empire.” Wikipedia
America stood then for Freedom, and many Americans that I have ask today and in the recent past, what America stands for still say that same ‘Freedom’.
From my readings, the other belief encapsulated in the spirit of those days was that ‘Every Man is Equal’…..
I can see how these two elements together have created a country where you can’t blame anyone but yourself if you don’t have ‘The Good Life’.
Back then apparently the population was around 2.5 million, but I sense that excluded Native Americans who were scattered all over ‘their country’.
Well we all know the America of Today: The powerhouse country with today a population of some 325 million people. The list is endless of the firsts the country has brought into our world. What America has achieved can only be described as ‘Absolutely Amazing’ in terms of Human Endeavour, and harnessing the full intensity of Human Rational capability.
America had a Vision, and Strategy, a Plan, and went ahead and ‘made it happen’. In my past ‘small world’ of business, where I focused on significant corporate turnarounds and then later start-ups, I always used this ‘Vision, Strategy, and Plan, and then Execute’ approach. In my little worlds I quickly realised that one cannot do great things unless one has the Vision, Strategy and Plan for Great things. As difficult and challenging as getting those three right, the Execution is where the most challenging ‘Human Element’ lies. This requires so many of the attributes an Extreme adventurer requires, and as today I reflect on the path of America and what the ‘Human Element’ behind all that must have been and still is, I am in awe and humbled by my insignificance. I however do see the core Human Element for this Success in myself, and soon to meet my sister in San Diego, I know that these core elements were instilled by our parents.
I found the book ‘The Triple Package: What Really determines Success’ (Jed Rubenfeld and Amy Chua) very useful in helping me understand the spirit and Human traits of the original Visionaries of America, and those that followed in the early days and ‘Made it Happen’. It helped me understand how I pulled my way through the survival times of my life adventures, and what is keeping me fired up for this ‘Toughest of The Tough’, activist path.
That book concedes that its context of “Success” is defined as the “Conventional, Prestige, orientated Success. A success associated with Financial, Material, and Power through Achievement Success. This is the Success of The Western Society and the same Success that has brought the picture of ‘The Facts’.
What we need today is that same Vision, Strategy, Plan but for a New Success’, one that is not competitively exclusive, not based on consumerism, and materialism, nor exploitation of the many for the benefit of the Few. Most of all the Vision needs to put Nature First, Human’s second, and have the huge Challenge of One Point Zero as its highest level context.
Interestingly it would require exactly the same extraordinary Human Capability to deliver the Success that America in the past 230 years has shown is possible from The Human. The simple switch is to change the Vision and aim at a New Success, a Success all humanity can be proud of and one that allows us ALL to belong to our Home, The Planet. I sense 230 years down the road, those around would look with even MORE awe at what humans have done to change the ‘wrong’ course of Humanity back in 2016!
We need help those new leaders to stand up, and to support them at all cost, because unlike back in 1776, there was a blank sheet of paper. We know have a rich set of books, that need to be used to find the truths, so that the new Vision can avoid the same ‘Human Greed’ failing, and see the Ultimate Value of Restraint within a much larger than Human, Nature Context.
There we go….. In 20 minutes I’ll be on the bicycle for the last section of dealing with the enormous Success of Henry Ford’s Vision, Strategy, Plan, and Execution!
And yeah, I’m using a product of Baron Von Drais’s 1817Vision!
If you think I’m finding this all easy to write, I’m not!! Maybe my strange humour is the way I’m dealing with my own challenge. This all challenges My Very Core, and without exaggerating I almost feel sick inside me with the turmoil!
All good though, this is what Human Intensity is about: We need to feel all our human ‘sides’ the dark side of sickness too…. Strangely, sickness means I’m alive!
I REALLY do feel I’m intensely alive, and the spirit still burning max flame, GUYS!
Helmut on and Off I go… Or should I take up that last offer from My Sister to pick me up?????
Quote of the moment:
“The ultimate test of man’s conscience may be his willingness to sacrifice something today for future generations whose words of thanks will not be heard.”
― Gaylord Nelson founder of Earth Day
Like I’m finding out with my Cap Capricorn experience, maybe what one thinks is a path requiring sacrifice, is not only a path that’s good for the soul, but also one with more ‘pleasure’!
I can’t believe what I have experienced in the past 24 hours.
Twenty four hours ago I was on Cap Capricorn entering Long Beach harbour, and in my ‘home’. I was on the bridge witnessing the most incredible port entry and docking of them all. This was professionalism of the highest level, and Andy Mayer, the Pilot and the leader of the team that did it was so relaxed we were having deep conversations as he was directing the two hour operation!
This involved two sharp 90 degree turns, a 180 degree on the spot rotation of Cap Capricorn with less than 50 metres space all around. Then finally a long reverse up the channel to our berth. Long Beach is quite some maze of a harbour.
Then it was the goodbyes, to all my crew friends, and I have to say the one on one with the captain and the words we exchanged brought welling tears to my eyes. From the deckhands, to the cook, to the officers and The Captain, many gave me warm hugs, and with all I could feel they had really enjoyed having me and I had really enjoyed being with them, in their space. Why would I ever want to fly again….?
With excitement and a wee bit of trepidation I loaded the panniers on the bike and with verbal instruction from more than four people who all were fascinated by my adventure and wanted to help. I set off on the next leg of Trumped by Nature. Was I going to get trumped by Long Beach harbour, the maze of bridges highways all immersed in two oil refineries, and a vast industrial area. Earlier from the ship’s bridge I’d confirmed with Andy the distant sprawl of LA to the north, even Hollywood hill almost direct ahead.
My ‘people Google map’ had brought me lots of stimulating interactions, and three people who loved the One Point Zero story, my sustainable travel goals, and their desire to follow the adventure. As I took them out of their rational worlds, I’d connected to their souls, and them to mine, and I thought back to literally the hundreds of people where I had spiritual connections that started from a seemingly simple functional need: “Excuse me?: Do you know how I get to such and such a place?” We are losing our human and spiritual connection through technology….and so fast I’m not sure Bill Gates’ One Point Zero project make the ‘latest possible start’ deadline!
Thanks Andy, Louis, Jim, for your help, hope you enjoy the journey with me……!
Long Beach and more…
I was soon in Long Beach, in another world of touristic attractions, beaches, and ocean promenades….. A quick stop to capture the old and the new of passenger travel brought me into an emotive hour long conversation with three recreational fisherman.
It also started with a functional question: “Hi guys! What’s the best road to San Diego?” I thought they had seen me park my bike, but clearly they hadn’t: “Just head out east to the I-5 and it’s then just straight 110 miles down to San Diego, brother”. Knowing that wasn’t my route I said: “I’m on a bicycle man and looking for the Oceanside road.” Well that just blew these guys minds, and started a whole story that went to One Point Zero, connecting to the elite and bringing them with us on to the Presidential elections.
Not enough space here but when I said to them that they need to demand some ‘no vote mechanism’ that forces a no election result and a need to go back and find some candidates we want, their eyes lit up shouted in tune: “I hadn’t thought of that? Yeah, man that’s what we need: To be able to say we don’t like any of the candidates and ‘they’ must bring some better ones. I like that, man”. We all know the state of election play in the US at the moment, but feeling their seriousness connection with their country and yet despair in what they saw ahead was moving for me. Sadly each time I think about where this election is at, I feel huge pain at knowing One Point Zero isn’t part of either candidate’s vision or priorities. In Bernie there was some glimpse of hope, but with Trump its full speed ahead on a turbo charged vision for American only anthropocentric success, and for Hilliary it’s just more of the same of the Success that The Facts show isn’t success.
I was finally on Ocean Boulevard, a pleasantly easy ride along the beach, eventually connecting with PCH-1 (Pacific Coast Highway) that took me to Laguna Beach where I’m writing this from.
My Soul feels the Traffic Against ‘Us’
For many people the ride I was on would be a truly amazing ride, but I have to say I didn’t sleep well last night, and as I lay awake listening to my soul. I realised that yesterday was a day when I felt a loneliness I haven’t felt too often before. I was there often riding alongside many cyclists, or passing people walking to the beaches, or sharing coffee snacks with fellow café users, but always I sensed I was the so different one. I tried to strike up conversation but it was as though I was the man from mars, people.
It hit me that I was I was in the middle of an anthropocentric world, it was 4th of July long weekend, and self-indulgent pleasure was the priority. San Francisco is a city, and I don’t expect more, the cities are 100% man’s domain, but here I was immersed in Californian ‘wilderness’,
People everywhere were out ‘in Nature’, but I didn’t get a sense of people belong with Nature they just appeared to be using Nature for their pleasure. Thanks to the state and parks control, it is all a very orderly and no abusive use of Nature, but it wasn’t the feeling I had when I was in the equivalent of the New Zealand, I’d just left. It hit me how huge this change from anthropocentric orientation is going to be….
I’m sad and looking at today to try find strength in my spirit, that same strong spirit I described in my response to Bob’s comments.
It did occur to me that I was maybe over reacting and not dealing with my recent disconnect with heavenly ship life and all the belonging that went with that? I do sense that this is the start of the real extreme Howard adventure: How to deal with going upstream against a huge current that doesn’t even know the old natural river flowed the opposite way, to this human engineered reverse flow canalisation!
OK, there we go: I said you’d get it straight from my heart…. The ups, downs and all of it…!
I’ll be leaving terra firma in hours now: Just had a call from the shipping agent: The Cap Capricorn arriving from Sydney, will be docking at 14h00 and I’m to meet at the container terminal gate at 15h30 for customs Immigration stuff, before boarding. So sorry no pics as the ship ain’t here yet! No idea how much cargo it will take on here, and what departure time is…. Life as a voluntary prisoner hey….!
I’d imagine ‘you all’ have lots of questions about this container ship travel, and I’ll try and anticipate and answer them in the first few blogs.
I just stocked up on a few, 20 day snacks, bought 8 different nationality newspapers on Kindle, and sending this last blog with good internet. It will be as remote as a wilderness sailing, cycling, skiing trip, but with lots more infrastructure ‘comforts’. ‘Nice’ to not have to power as a scarce resource like it normally is when I’m alone sailing, cycling or whatever. I have no doubt that Scarcity and its twin: ‘Restraint’, will be one subject coming out of the blogs from the ship!
So with real excitement flowing, soon I’ll l be meeting and checking out my new home for the next 20 days. Hmm quite a scary thought, but not so really. Prisons are supposed to be the place of biggest freedom, if one is just able to capitulate once! Hah, this ship will be far from a prison, and the solitude, and seeming restriction on so many fronts is the freedom I love!
Actually compared to the ‘cosiness’ of Allone, I’m worried it will be too large, impersonal, and I’ll get lost! Being on the wide open, ever changing, Pacific Ocean, day after day, will be like heaven for me!
Anyway it will take me a few days to settle in, and this should give you a chance to ‘check out all the stuff’ on this One Point Zero website. It’s all for free; there is no sales pitch for things to buy, or behind the scenes beneficiaries who will benefit from your browsing.
See it as your One Point Zero library and every few days reading and thinking spot, ‘with others but on your own’. Thinking about stuff that everyday life doesn’t give you time to do or political / belonging correct-ness steers you away from.
The library will be expanding each week. Besides this adventure / travel type blog, every few days there will be new, deep One Point Zero content added to the Menus Subjects, and you’ll be directed to it through this blog.
In its uniqueness it is a combination of Fun and Serious stuff, and I make no apologies for that…. It is designed for reading and engaging one’s mind, rather than just being a quick, look, see, get entertained, and move on site….. Yes, there could be more pics in the content, but at the same time it’s the thoughts, views, and ideas content that is going to make this site what it can be… It will develop and transform as the journey progresses
If your soul wants to respond, make a comment on the blog, or send me an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
No judgements will be made, just your courage and participation valued and respected.
Enjoy, and I’ll be back within a few days with the first blog from the ship, and share my new home, and work office for 20 days!
Watch out for it here on One Point Zero
Also I’d appreciate it if you tell as many of your friends about the site, so we can expand the diversity of thought and influence, and get a richer result.
If you haven’t already, read the launch story here You can subscribe there for my future e-letters which I’ll send it maybe monthly, bi-monthly or whenever he journey ‘needs’ one…
There is one huge big difference between the North Pole, etc and this One Point Zero mission:
In those adventures I was going to be alone, taking on the challenges of Nature’s Most Grand Adventure, in the pristine wild wilderness all on my own. ‘You’ the blog follower came along as an observer and supporter, and my goal was well defined, supported by all, and the route to be taken is virtually known. This is so different:
Both ‘Trumped by Nature’ and the broader One Point Zero adventure are more personal for each one of us, as we have to make a personal stance on the goals / issues. They are Society issues, effecting each one of US. (Even “Sorry, No interest in this” is a stance!) Yet One Point Zero’s goal needs ‘all’ of us to want the same thing to enable us to achieve it. Is that a futile, or impossible goal???
I understand the significance of this challenge but therein lies the huge adventure risk, and fears that churn around within!
A set of fears much greater than the one’s of the Solo adventurer, who only had only ‘Nature’s Grand Adventure’, and himself, to deal in achieving ‘His Goal’.
One Point Zero is an ‘Our goal’ situation, and yet the goal hasn’t been openly discussed, let alone agreed!
These fears within me today, having just gone public with One Point Zero, and now 6 hours from stepping on the ship are about:
Maybe unconsidered rejection, passive aggression and ‘confrontational’ reactions. Fears of wrong judgements being made on my assumed, beliefs, values and motives, with respect to this project. A fear of the loneliness associated with maybe being ostracised as a radical outsider in my socio-economic group.
A fear of my maybe wrong decision: To passionately pursuing an unpopular, and/or unappreciated activist cause.
The fear that because I have been on a twelve year, radical ‘solo walkabout’, nobody understands my unique transformation from Capitalist to Explorer to Activist. Nobody can see the value of the resultant ‘unique’ perspectives in helping Mankind’s One Point Zero Challenge….
I’ve read a lot about it, but now I’m starting to experience the dilemma of an Activist, and it’s time to once again be courageous in my alone-ness:
The specifics are all new and real fears, within a total new landscape for me, but it feels right, what I have to do, and I’m using my experience of an adventurer to take on the challenge with that mind-set.
For me, Life is about growing and becoming bigger as a person, and I truly do feel that overcoming these fears, by working through the challenges and unknowns as they come up is where my personal growth lies.
I understand ‘life risk’: The huge decision in 2004 and its totally unknown path is valuable experience, and helping me enormously deal with the fears I layout above and feel today. The fear of taking on the huge unknown and the possibility of life ‘failure’…: It’s easy to just stay in the known groove, with no risk, but I need to be living intensely, experience the full range of our human emotions. Also dealing with the ‘successes’ and ‘failures’ because it’s not about succeeding or failing it’s about the journey to what one believes in. Following lies or other people’s definitions of success, maybe be comfortable with the crowd, but is not living authentically and intensely for me.
In sharing my fears, I’m not asking for you to feel sorry for me, give me special treatment, etc, that’s not me, and that’s not going to work: I’m sharing with you to show you my starting point in all its authenticity as this may help us with this adventure and all its unknowns as we set out together…. Starting with this level of openness we will have a wonderful and rewarding time.
And finally: You may have noticed that I use the word intensely a lot! Well in Nature all I see is creatures living intensely, not striving for just then happiness side of intensity…. Nature’s Grand Adventure taught me that, and more about all this from the ship!