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This is the fifth installment of the six part series, Becoming Sustainably Motivated. The series is meant to offer some insight and encouragement towards adopting a sustainable lifestyle. Part five focuses on staying informed. Explore all six to help find and develop your own sustainable motivation!
In The Know
This is yet another fundamental aspect to adopting the sustainable lifestyle. We need to be continuously learning! This can be from listening to the wisdom of our elders, observing nature, exploring other cultures, or attending courses and reading voraciously.
I personally recommend grounding yourself in some good history and geography lessons to better understand where you came from, how things are the way they are, and how various issues connect.
So Many Amazing Discoveries!
Diving into some history will also provide for learning about science, nature, politics, economics, technology… actually it covers quite the spectrum;) Absorbing information will undoubtedly help you in life, but it will also help you to assist others, and instill an appetite for learning that will perpetuate your sustainable motivation.
Follow The News
As in actual news. There are so many ways to tune in and remain current to what’s happening in your neighborhood and around the world that finding information shouldn’t pose too much of a problem.
On the other hand, getting accurate and objective information has become more challenging for some, as the rise of blog sites, entertainments news sites, and embedded marketing, have contributed to the spread of misinformation and opinions, or outright false news, as being presented as fact (see The Truth of Comedy).
Conspicuously, much of our current understanding of fake news detractors originally came from liberal sources, yet those same source are now themselves attacked from the politically far-right as being untrue and biased.
Despite the noise coming from those who seek to justify cause with opinions and beliefs over fact, if you’re concerned about sustainability, it is imperative to stay committed to the search for the truth.
Getting to the Center of the Maze
My list of credible news sources include: The Guardian, The Independent, ProPublica, Reuters, and Democracy Now. Though not as staunchly independent, I also look to the BBC (UK) and the CBC (Canada), as well as numerous local papers and reporters, so I get my fair share of diverse and well supported information that keeps me up to date. I would encourage you all to do the same.
Find vetted trusted sources, and stay current to what is happening around you in our increasingly interconnected world. Our time is certainly limited, and we all have so much on our plate as it is, but technology has also provided us with ample means of checking in on our sources even during brief interludes.
Read Actual Books
Social media is undoubtedly amazing for being updated so quickly on what is happening in your neighborhood or around the world. Indeed, I follow a number of news sources through Facebook, while Twitter provides incredibly rapid updates during news events, and Apps on my smartphone allow me to log into my news sites.
Don’t Fear The Long Articles
Apps are great when pressed for time, but when you do finally have a breather I would encourage you to go beyond the headlines and soundbites and get into the very essence of what’s going on around us. The flip side of having so much info readily available to us, is that we have the tendency to go for the quick gratification and react to those catchy headlines.
The reality however, is that most events don’t happen in isolation, and it does actually require some deeper thought and understanding in order to truly process what is going on. The easier explanations aren’t necessarily the correct ones, in that there is a dramatic difference between correlation and causation.
If someone who is trained to know and make that difference can help breakdown complex issues, so much the better, but it does take some effort on your part.
Some suggest magazines include: The Economist, Foreign Affairs, The Atlantic, Harvard International Review, and Slate. Though not as news oriented, but equally relevant in learning about ourselves and our planet, I also really enjoy picking up issues of the National Geographic, Scientific American, and Psychology Today.
For a list of suggested books I invite you to explore this website, under Learning Tools (or simply click the image above).
Your Time Is Limited, Choose Wisely
Another way to get past the headlines and discover more about the issues, is to watch quality content and well presented documentaries that explore in greater detail the topics that affect us. They represent an incredibly powerful source of learning, through one of the most fundamentally human means, storytelling.
Feed Your Brain
Documentaries films and television programs provide a narrative with which to better assimilate the extensive and offer complex data that is coming our way. They can present expert interviews, visual explanations, and personal experiences, and package them neatly into a more digestible format. To be sure, there is certainly a range of quality among documentaries, but you’ll discover that at your continue your explorations.
Leave the cynics to their complaints that such films and programs are merely opinions, and see for yourself what they are offering. I’ve recommended some terrific ones on our website, if you’re on the lookout for more (click the accompanying image). Discovering new and relevant information provides all kinds of inspiration and keeps yours truly sustainably motivated!