Some Sustainability Notes Today,August 20, 2021:

1. The fires that have been raging this summer in Turkey (as in many other places on our Earth). There are multiple candidates for causes. Climate change, yes, but human greed and error seem more relevant. There seems to be so much corruption, incompetence and bad intent going on behind the scenes. Turkish civilians, civil/ civic initiatives, have proved themselves to have so much capability and awareness, it gives one hope for the future. In particular, the ‘forest villagers’ (orman köylüleri), the ‘highland tribes’, the Yörüks (roaming Turcoman groups, if I am not mistaken in interpreting) and ancient tribes such as the ‘Sarıkeçililer’ (‘the ones with yellow goats’). They are already so wise and knowledgeable, in doing the right thing in such natural calamities, tending to their natural habitat in sustainable co-existence… These rural communities are our own Indigenous groups. For a while, during my involvement in circles working on Indigenous Heritage and Rights-Based Approaches to Heritage, I have had a hard time ‘translating’ Indigenous to the Turkish context. Well, we have our own version, yes, they are the rural communities!.. We must heed, protect and respect them. Our national policies are currently failing at this. But our society is ‘bigger’ than those who have grabbed power at the capital.

2. I look at myself, and see the personal, psychological struggles within me, managing stress, anxiety, ambition, responsibility, desire, addiction, hope, expectation, uncertainty, etc.… Then I have had a curious thought this morning. When we keep talking about ‘People, Planet, Prosperity’ for the global, social or urban levels, and try to (re)learn how to ‘go in flow with Nature’, shouldn’t we remember to apply this to our own selves and our own daily rhythms? Learning to live with the nature within myself. Not fight my body’s and mind’s natural, subconscious signals… Accept it when I cannot push myself unnaturally, for example. Let a relaxed mind spring forth its own creative solutions. This brings me to the idea, to PERSONALIZE SUSTAINABILITY. Not only to avoid littering, using plastics, over-consuming, etc.. But a holistic sense of ‘localizing the Sustainable Development Goals’. I love this philosophy of ‘Personalizing the SDGs’! What do you think? 

© 2019 A. Ege Yıldırım