Tuesday, August 10, 2010

We, as humans, are selfish by Joshua Rockwell

Joshua Rockwell
PHS 100
David Terrell
Warner Pacific College
August 8, 2010

We, as humans, are selfish. Our world has been taught to think mainly about the person who is reading this essay—you. Yes, I am talking to you, me, and all of my neighbors. We have been taught that you don’t have to wait two days to receive mail, you can get it instantly; we don’t have to go to the movies anymore, we don’t even have to go to the movie rental store—we can order our movie right from our television; and grocery shopping, you don’t have to step a foot out of your door to get the food you need for the week. Yes, these are all conveniences, but we have taken this concept too far. We expect these things; to make it worse, we expect the next company do perform better than the last.
What we really need to start thinking about is our grandchildren and great-grandchildren; if we consume everything now, what will they have; what energy will they have if other sources of energy are not utilized and developed; what knowledge can be passed on to them so they can make wise decisions for their ancestors.
In the U.S. alone, we are consuming food, energy, and other resources at an alarming rate. Food is always a big topic. Because of technology, we can produce more food for our society, but we also consume more (Withgott & Brennan, 2008, p. 265). We see more fast food restaurants, coffee chains, and mega-grocery stores along our streets, signaling that we consume what they produce. I am drinking a Mountain Dew while I write this. Fuels and electricity power the many necessities and toys that we have—gasoline for cars, boats, riding lawnmowers, RC toys, televisions, computers, air conditioners, swimming pools, hot tubs, and more; which we need or must have. Resources like water and trees are used to supply what we want. By making a conscious effort to consume less, we can positively affect not only ourselves by being less selfish, but the future, what will be available to them, and the quality of the resources.
Regardless of whether or not today’s energy resources are being depleted, it is undeniable that they are not the cleanest or most beneficial to use as fuel or energy. Therefore, it is highly important that other energy sources be developed and utilized. As the globe focuses on paperless communications and documents, electricity will still be in high demand; hydropower, nuclear, wind, solar, and others yet to be discovered will hopefully be developed and be more beneficial and sustainable in the future. Cars and planes will probably not go way, so a better source of energy that is cleaner burning and recyclable will benefit our grandchildren and the environment. A problem with cars is not only the fuel but the batteries—especially with the hybrid cars. The batteries are much bigger and waste disposal of them could be a disastrous event for our soil.
What if there was something better than electricity? What if cars and planes were just a stepping stool to a new transportation of transportation? Or will the future generations see the benefits of going backwards to walking and riding a bike? Communities could actually be communities; grocery stores could be closer to the people that shopped them; exercise would be a daily thing for everyone; being a part of a community would mean that selfishness and the disease of instantaneousness would be hard to come by. We would consume less all together.
Could this knowledge of experience, trial and error, and sustainability be useful to our grandchildren? Yes. If we would admit that our selfishness has driven us in the wrong direction and taken what we have learned about the world that God created with his voice, it could be a part of their daily routine to think about the generations ahead of them, causing the to use less, think of ways to be more sustainable, and live simply at the same time.
This process of thinking about the future starts with me. I need to think about my family, my grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and my neighbor’s great-grandchildren. How will I integrate what I have learned at home and my workplace? I first of all want to teach all by demonstration how to be selfless; having less of a desire of things and more of a desire of community; and the joy of being self sustaining with a few things at home can be beneficial for more than a household. By utilizing what I have learned from this class and my degree, I will have an impact on other employees and will encourage them to find ways to not be wasteful, both while at work and at home. It has allowed me to see and better understand what an impact a little decision can have on the environment—so I had better think had on what the wise choice will be. Because it has a small chance of directly affecting me, but a greater chance on my children and beyond—and that is selfless.

Withgott, J., & Brennan, S. (2008). Environment: The science behind the stories (3rd ed.) Pearson Education Inc. San Francisco, CA 94111.