I’m not talking about being successful, wealthy or having an enviable career. Are you really well and healthy? You know, we always talk about sustainability issues, but what do you do for your sustainable wellness?
The teaching is as follows: To be successful; you must sacrifice your life -family, friends, interests, and even mental and physical health- on the altar of money, work, and career. Success comes only with sacrifices. This is most likely by sacrificing ‘ourselves’. So, is there a sustainable side to this? The answer is clear: No!
We say that we have destroyed the planet with our irresponsible production and consumption patterns. The Anthropocene hypothesizes that some species will disappear completely at this point where the planet has arrived by human ingenuity. But what about the human himself? What about sustainable wellness?
Concrete references for happiness and well-being were set before us. These references were indexed to success, career and money. Technology, consumption, modern life, mega-cities have inflamed this fire. The flames got so big that they surrounded us. Now we are pulling and discussing the issues of human life and a healthy sustainable future from all sides to find a way out.
Even the business world has embraced wellness to increase employee productivity. Clothes were liberalized, healthy food was piled up in the offices, collective yoga and mind exercise training began. Now everyone was a candidate to become a Tibetan monk. After all, it was all in the head, right? Work-life balance was everything. We were not just painting wood, we were actually protecting our health.
Now a third of the food produced goes to waste while millions of people around the world go hungry. Obesity is a candidate to become the biggest human problem. The issue of people being ‘good’ is now a multi-billion dollar economy. Not to mention the real health issues and the health system…
Is sustainable ‘well-being’ possible?
Since today we are acting with a real awareness (at least a group of people) for a more respectful and healthy sustainable future to the environment, nature, animals, the planet and each other, we need to put our own sustainable goodness in an important part of this issue.
Just as we clearly know the facts that harm the environment, trigger the climate crisis and global warming, and try to take precautions against them, we should also be aware of the facts that harm us and affect our health and well-being, and we must do something about them.
This is not a call to quit work and get away from the reality of life. On the contrary, it is a call to change some practices in life and to give yourself a little more value for sustainable wellness.
The individual manifesto for sustainability is clear: Small steps can change a lot.
Simplifying life means to simplify in every sense. Simplifying in our home, on our table, in our shopping. Making more valuable use of our time. To stay away from the ‘extreme’ state of every subject. I’m talking about small but actually very important steps such as listening to ourselves, not neglecting our own issues and health. Believe me, even these can change a lot. Not only for us, but also for our family and loved ones…
Dedicated to Hakan Alp (1968-2021)
Special thanks to Tanyer Sönmezer