Thursday, June 30, 2011

Impossible is the point

Reaching redwoods in Santa Cruz
During university (and evidently still now) I was obsessed with the theorist Tony Fry*, specifically for his papers on sustainability.  One day I heard he was in town speaking at my old university - hence I left work early to go back to uni and soak in every minute of the hour he was lecturing for, sitting at the side of the theater like a creepy ex-student who wants to never wanted to graduate.

I don't remember much of the talk, but my attendance was made worthwhile for one quote alone when I approached him after he was done speaking.  I gushed to him about how he has formed so much of what I believe about design, and what it means for us to build a sustainable future - but as we've educated ourselves on this issue we've become a society burdened with the idea that we've reached peak oil, our grandkids may never taste fish and our world is going to waste.

Me, rambling:
"How do you get to bed at night without being weighted and overwhelmed about all the change to be done?  I mean, you know it's not going to happen right?"

Tony Fry Genius Man: 
"You have to remember that the greatest things man has ever achieved have been done in the pursuit of what was impossible."

He went on to talk about not doubting the power of the individual, and that I should know it's not my responsibility to change the world, just myself.  Movements are made of people.

But more to the point, we are to pursue the impossible in order to achieve great, game-changing things.  Reminds me of that reaching for the starts quote too.

*If you really must know what prompted me to remember this, it was my love for purchasing natural fibres - you'd think it's a good thing for the environment, when in fact our wool consumption supports a strong portion of our growing air pollution (sheep emissions from mass farming).  Ah thank goodness for Tony or I'd never sleep.


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