Sustainability starts with a simple gesture of goodwill. To know more, read this introductory post.
Roxana’s primary concern is the wellbeing of others, and she sees justice as the highest principle to be explored, reflected upon and applied in order to achieve this higher purpose. For a long time, she limited her exploration of these processes to cherishing the UN (that was when she was nine) and trying to convince carpets’ dealers not to buy from Pakistan (at ten, Iqbal Masih was her hero). After studying international law for four years and doing several internships with NGOs in three continents, she realized that directly defending human rights is just one of numerous ways to strive for justice.
By getting involved in community-building activities that seek to empower individuals to take charge of their own development, Roxana realized that justice is not only conceived and enforced by institutions, but also an aspiration to be strengthened in every individual and a principle to be upheld by every community of people. Her experience in community building inspired her to turn to the field of sustainable development, more specifically sustainable living. While sustainability is a topic of great concern at the international level that needs to be addressed, when far removed from political spheres and abstract discussions it provides an avenue for justice to take shape and be expressed at the very local level. This can happen when a core group of people, aware of humanity’s interdependence and its interconnectedness with nature, engages in applying the principle of justice at the individual and community level.
It is this quest for justice, pursued by exploring what sustainable living means for all the protagonists of change—individuals, communities and institutions—that drove Roxana to launch humanlysustainable.com. Her aim is to encourage many others to contribute to the blog—with everything from thoughtful comments to articles they have authored themselves—to work towards building of a common vision of what sustainable living is. If you are interested in contributing to Humanly Sustainable, contact Roxana at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Melissa has spent many years shedding misconceptions about how to live in harmony with her environment and in service to the other human beings in it. Armed only, and quite inadequately, with a simplistic interpretation of the ideal of “helping people” and probably far too much enthusiasm for anyone’s own good, she was well on her way to a career in nursing research before she realized that (a) clinical nursing wasn’t her thing, (b) making a career of handing down “expert knowledge” after never having worked as a registered nurse, while it would have been easy or at least uncompetitive, would achieve quite the opposite of “helping people” and (c) everyone was complimenting her language skills, which she had never previously thought could “help people.” She eventually earned degrees in Spanish philology and translation studies, which opened the door to seeing the natural empathy and fresh concern for others that arise from knowing a new language and thus a new way of looking at the world. Subsequently living, working, studying and serving in Quebec, Israel and Catalonia—territories in which bilingualism has flourished, despite political tensions—have inspired her to pursue a career in multilingual information management and gather, distill, analyze and spread insights from some of the world’s most successful multilingual models. She currently works as a translator.
This blog is the fruit of active collaboration and consultation among several friends. A special thanks goes to Tara Nakhjavani, who contributes her talents in visual communication to making this blog beautiful.