The Importance of Consistency

March 29, 2011

There was a boy who ate too much sugar. His mother, who wanted him to stop, walked to ask Gandhi, “Would you please tell my son to stop eating sugar?” Gandhi replied, “Bring your boy back in two weeks. The mother left, then brought the boy back two weeks later. Gandhi looked the boy in the eye and said, “Stop eating sugar.” The boy nodded, and promised to stop. His mother was confused. “Why did you want me to bring him back in two weeks?  Couldn’t you have said the same thing to him then?” “No,” Gandhi replied, “Because Two Weeks Ago, I ate Sugar too”

I went to a sustainable conference at McGill this March 15, looking forward to hear Mr. Gerald Butts, CEO and President of the Canadian World Wildlife Foundation. The talk was all I was expecting and more; Mr. Butts mentioned how we created our own problems for the last 300 years, so we can also solve them. I learnt that Canada has the seventh worst carbon emissions per capita, and that 80% of us live in cities.

I learnt all about how WWF is working with several corporations that are dead serious about Corporate Social Responsibility, including the likes of Coca Cola, which is recognizing that Coke should not be sold in schools and at the same time is an alternative to unsafe tap water in many countries.

More important, I met a wonderful bunch of students and McGill employees that take sustainability at heart and that are looking to increase the sustainability culture at McGill University. As direct result of my participation of this conference, I am now part of the committee that is organizing the First Sustainability Fair this fall.

Sadly, consistency is still an issue. We parents are told not to say to our kids what to do, but to lead with our example. At McGill University, we were all talking about sustainability at noon, in a sunny day, with all the windows curtains down and twenty five light bulbs turned on