With great admiration I tell this story, but the admiration is for the lessons learned. The reason for this is because of the basics we all have. We are all given free will from God and as an individual we make choices. This 4th of July we are also reminded of our freedoms in the United States that allow us to make choices, the best choices are always respectful, responsible, under the law and with accountability. These are things that we should all do, not just try, and especially not place fault onto someone or something else for our failures. However, as an individual we need to work hard to obtain the two additional elements listed in this Blog’s title: Intelligence and Illumination.
We can constantly complain and criticize, thus never increasing our intelligence and realization of a complete picture or we can work together on one team to find a real solution. We must stop wasting time, money, energy and intelligence to think of ways to hurt one another and start working together to help one another. If you only go looking for a problem, then you will never be part of the solution. The choice belongs to each one of us and how we stand tall to defend this fact each and every day.
So with that in mind, let us get back to our story…
For various reasons this young man went out to build a log cabin house for his family and office. First he used local materials, such as dead lodgepole pine trees. This reduced costs for transportation. Lumberjacks chopped the trees down and horses were used to drag the logs to the work site for his house. The use of oil and gas was avoided and so were loud noises. The trees were then peeled by hand to again save on the use of fossil fuels.
Alas, after all was said and done, our young environmental hero paused as he looked upon the barren area of the forest where they chopped down all the dead trees. While solving issues to save the world, he realized that he did harm to the world.
Dead trees also have a purpose in nature. When they rot and fall to the ground, they provide shelter for animals, they decompose to provide enriched nutrients for the barren and depleted soil. Bears, deers, sapsuckers, pine martens and so on, are all with a loss. Our hero did place seedlings on the landscape, but he realized that those seedlings were not equivalent to what he took.
For every environmentally friendly action he took, there was a consequence that added to his frustrations. This project was to be a “win, win” for him and the environment, but reality told a different story which he realized and acknowledged.
Another example is the nontoxic all natural wood finish he used on his wooden floors. Extracts of rosemary and orange peel within the finish were safe, but the drying process took a month and a half. The answer was to use electric fans to speed up the drying time and no worries because the electricity was generated by dams; but the dams kill salmon. These two different actions for finishing wood floors had the following facts to compare:
- Polyurethane finish is harmful to apply, but safe after dry
- Polyurethane finish cost 60% lower than the naturally safe brand and dries within a week
The lessons learned tell us that we do not have all the answers. We do not know everything, Nature does, but we don’t. This is why we must all work together on one team, one country. If any one person claims to know what is best for everyone else, she/he is either an elitist fool or Anakin Skywalker about to become Darth Vader.
For me, I know that I don’t have all the answers. I do know that I am a team player hoping to inspire all Americans to work for a better tomorrow together.
Bill Lauto, at GoingTrueGreen.com
International Sustainability and Energy Consultant
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