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As a daughter, granddaughter (still...at my age!), wife, mom, grammy, lover of God and life, it has become my mission in life to encourage others. The purpose of this blog is to introduce the reader to the sustainable life through organic recipes, gardening tips, cleaning and organizing methods, Spiritual help, and anything else which may encourage you in your journey to wholeness--body, soul, and spirit.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Sustainability...what exactly is it?

Sustainability.  Sustainable.  Sustainable living…
Upon beginning this blogging adventure, I had to think about the big question "What is sustainability?"  and come up with a reasonable answer which would set the tone for all future musings.  See, my idea is to have a place to encourage others with words, recipes for wholesome and organic food, gardening tips, ways to clean and organize life… generally a place to nourish the body, soul, and spirit.
Starting with a very unoriginal source, I consulted Dictionary.com:

sus·tain·a·bil·i·ty[suh-stey-nuh-bil-i-tee] 
noun
1. the ability to be sustained,  supported, upheld, or confirmed.
2.Environmental Science . the quality of not being harmful to the environment or depleting natural resources, and thereby supporting long-term ecological balance: The committee is developing sustainability standards for products that use energy.

Next, I checked Urban Dictionary for some more, shall we say, amusing definitions:

Sustainability is a lens through which to view all issues. The sustainability movement encompasses environmental justice and social justice, because one cannot be obtained without the other. It means living life to the fullest without compromising future generations' ability to do so. It respects the interconectedness of all life and acknowledges the responsibility that each person has to consider the effects that his actions have on other life forms, both living and to be born.
The sustainability revolution is begining! Watch out you styrofoam using, carbon cycle ignoring, TV worshiping members of American consumer culture.

A word that left leaning urban Caucasians coined to feel good about themselves.
Joe: I like shopping at Whole Foods because they have a strong sense of sustainability.

(Yikes!)

The ability to endure a balence of economic, social and environmenal well being now and in the future.

So...which definition works?  Hands-down, the very first, original, dictionary definition.  "the ability to be sustained, upheld, supported, or confirmed." As for the word sustain...(again from Dictionary.com):

verb (used with object)
1. to support, hold, or bear up from below; bear the weight of, as a structure.
2.to bear (a burden, charge, etc.).
3.to undergo, experience, or suffer (injury, loss, etc.); endure without giving way or yielding.
4.to keep (a person, the mind, the spirits, etc.) from giving way, as under trial or affliction.
5.to keep up or keep going, as an action or process: to sustain a conversation 

Yep…that’s it.  Support, bear burdens, endure without giving way or yielding, to keep a person—the mind, the spirit, etc. from giving way, as under trial or affliction. 

Sustainable living—the art of living in such a manner as to endure and keep others from giving way under trials and afflictions.  The idea of bearing one another’s burdens, encouragement, lifting spirits.  The very definition of sustainable living is not merely an environmental term.  As I suspected…it encompasses the mind, the body, and the spirit. 

Live sustainably...in peace with others, yourself, and ultimately with God.  That is the goal.  Today, let me encourage you with some words which have encouraged me many times:

Live creatively, friends. If someone falls into sin, forgivingly restore him, saving your critical comments for yourself. You might be needing forgiveness before the day's out. Stoop down and reach out to those who are oppressed. Share their burdens, and so complete Christ's law.
~Galations 6:1-2

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