Welcome to Rissponsible Living! (2.0).
What it’s all about…
“I did not care what it was all about. All I wanted to know was how to live in it.” This quotation from Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises used to be one of my favorite lines from literature, because it resonated with me. I wanted to learn how to live in “it”: the moment, life, whatever “it” is. But just now I realize what the quotation really means. Like the Lost Generation of expats that flee the U.S. to Europe in Hemingway’s novel, millennials run away from their problems. We do not face things head-on, we like to complain but do not wish to ride out the storm and be a part of the solution. We do not care what “it” is all about, we just want to “live in it.” I am guilty of being more concerned with a moment (or Snapchat, oops) than the deeper meaning. But while I am sometimes swept up by the ephemeral, I also am always looking long term; I am very diligent about maintaining my happiness and working hard at improving my character. Millennials also train for half-marathons, study for the GMAT, work hard to lose weight for their wedding, take leave from work to go on a mission trip. We demonstrate firsthand that it takes time, diligence, and patience to accomplish your goals. It also takes the help of others, from family, to friends, to community (which is part of the definition of “the good life,” scroll down for some ancient Greek philosophy!). This blog is my testament that anyone can live a life worth pursuing in the 21st century, even a millennial or young urban professional (aka yuppie).
Rissponsible Living is, essentially, a “yuppie’s guide to a wholesome and wholehearted life.”
How it started…
What started as a way to pass a summer without an internship grew into a hobby and now a love of labor. This blog is not a personal diary nor a site for me to rant or hide behind, but an outlet for me to research questions I wish answered and share them with anyone who can benefit. From eco-friendly habit and climate issues, to books worth reading and places worth traveling to, I like to think that Rissponsible Living holds me accountable to live life a little fuller and a little more rissponsibly.
In May of 2015 when I launched Rissponsible Living, I was motivated to learn more about the environment, and created this blog to share my journey of finding “sustainable living for the high-maintenance millennial.” Now, wanting to take on a new challenge, I have expanded my blog from living a green life to also living a good life. It is a “yuppie’s guide to a wholesome and wholehearted life.” From reading recommendations to recipes (even she can do!), to interviews with those who inspire, this blog is my way of exploring a fulfilling life and a responsible (I mean, Rissponsible) life.
Why the good life?
In my quest to live more sustainably, I realized that my resolutions to reduce my carbon footprint were actually working, and I wanted to do the same for other aspects of my life as well. Starting on January 1, 2016, I gave up using plastic water bottles, and I stuck to it. I ate red meat less, never used disposable silverware in my college cafeteria, and took the bus to work every day. By writing about climate change I became hyper-aware of eco-friendly efforts and technologies everywhere I went. It was eye-opening. And then I realized, if I could create a self-awareness about my actions and their effect on their environment, why can’t I do this for everything else? Thus, from the quest for the “green life” evolves a quest for the “good life.”
My association with the good life comes from my time in my college’s Great Books Colloquium and how the Greeks defined it. (Not sorority or fraternity Greeks, but like actual ancient Greeks).
The “good life” is simple: it is the life that one would like to live, or one would find worth pursuing.
Nowadays, a liberal arts education is criticized, not because the value of a college degree is questioned, but because academic institutions don’t prioritize teaching their students how to live the good life. I bet students graduate without even knowing what it is or how to find it. But the good life comes from Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics (add to your 2017 to-read list if you haven’t read it!), which derives from the Greek eudaimonia, meaning “happiness” or “welfare.” Etymologically, it consists of the words “good” and “spirit.” Ancient Greek ethics says that the “eudaimon life is the pleasurable life.” (Are you sold yet? If only someone could make a green smoothie that sells this stuff in a bottle). For example, Aristotle says that the aim of a city (which most of you probably live in) is not just to avoid injustice or provide economic stability, but rather to allow “at least some citizens the possibility to live a good life, and to perform beautiful acts.” Let us hold this definition in our hearts and practice it for 2017, and years to come, because the opportunity to live a good life is something few have and most take for granted.
I don’t have the recipe to a good life, and I am still figuring out what it means, but I hope the ingredients of Rissponsible Living are something worth trying.
© Rissponsible Living, 2017