The 15th of October is Blog Action Day. Thousands of bloggers put their thinking energy into one issue today – the environment. They write about it in their own ways, weaving the topic into the themes of their blogs. So, how are we learning about the environment?
Some learning we do by choice, other comes to us the hard way. Learning about the global warming and its effects is an example of the latter. You may have heard about the four stages of learning:
- Unconscious Incompetence. We don’t even know what we don’t know.
- Conscious Incompetence. We are aware of what we don’t know. We know what we need to learn.
- Conscious Competence. We have learned enough to be able to act in accordance with our knowledge, but we still have to think about it.
- Unconscious Competence. The new behavior becomes natural, we don’t have to think about it any more.
The events of this year shifted many of us into the conscious competence stage. We know what we should and shouldn’t do to make a difference. We know enough about the issues to start acting accordingly. Sustainable living takes planning, adjustment, and concentration. There is still a lot we need to learn as individuals, families, communities. Any change is hard, and it takes effort. It is easier to leave the computer on because that’s how we have always left it. It is easier to toss a can into the trash rather that look for a recycling bin. It is easier not to think about those habitual actions. After all, they are part of our unconscious competence. And we have to replace them with the skills that we are still learning, and it is a challenge. Practice is really the only way. “Think and do,” “think and do” will eventually evolve into “do and do,” and think about something else. That’s when the environmental consciousness will become part of us, so much so that the new practices will be automatic, just like brushing our teeth in the morning. But even then, we will still be learning about exciting discoveries and new better ways to do things, and we will continue trading our unconscious behavior for the conscious again. It is a never-ending process, but hopefully, the one that leads to a better life on this one beautiful planet.