2011-03-26

A time for thoughtful reflection

Tonight, cities across the globe are powering down in recognition of Earth Hour. Over the years, Earth Hour has gathered a great deal of support. For some, the cognizance brought on by Earth Hour has changed how they behave in their daily lives; while others seem to only switch off their lights for that one hour before they again switch off their minds to the world for the rest of the year.

I've tried to make Earth Hour more than a simple act of environmental conservation and observation. Since I began recognizing it in 2008, I have tried to make Earth Hour a time of contemplation personally, culturally, and globally. Tonight, I encourage you to do the same.

As an aide in triggering those thoughts, allow me to share a list with you made by Tony Schwartz which he published in the Harvard Business Review. In his list, Tony presents us with a side-by-side grouping of things he thinks "We need LESS" and things "We need MORE":
WE NEED LESS:WE NEED MORE:
InformationWisdom
Shallow billionairesPassionate teachers
Self-promotionSelf-awareness
MultitaskingControl of our attention
InequalityFairness
SugarLean protein
ActionReflection
Super sizesSmaller portions
Private jetsHigh-speed trains
CalculationPassion
ExpertsLearners
BlamingTaking responsibility
JudgmentDiscernment
TextingReading
AngerEmpathy
OutputDepth
Constructive criticismThank-you notes
PossessionsMeaning
RighteousnessDoing the right thing
AnswersCuriosity
Long hoursLonger sleep
ComplainingGratitude
SittingMoving
SellingAuthenticity
CynicismRealistic optimism
Self-indulgenceSelf-control
SpeedRenewal
EmailsConversations
WinningWin-win
Immediate gratificationSacrifice
Source: http://blogs.hbr.org/schwartz/2011/03/30-things-we-need-and-30-we-do.html
It matters little what you may think of specific items from Tony's list; my hope is that this will prompt you to consider the same comparison of "needs" in your own life, as it did for me.

Whether it's during the official Earth Hour (20:30 - 21:30 local time) [Earth Hour] or during a different hour of your choosing, I encourage you to turn off your lights, your gadgets, and your daily routine. In place of your usual behaviors for that hour, light a candle, sit outside, or simply meditate in the solace of your mind and spend an hour in consideration of your choices and how they affect you, your family and friends, your community, your culture, and your planet.
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