"Don't stop believing!"

Life would be so much easier if I were shallow.

If I only cared about myself, how I looked, how much money I had, and whether I had enough cool friends. If I didn't care about genocide, famine, civil unrest, poverty, assault, deforestation, pollution, and neglect. If I didn't want to make a difference, save the earth, save the children, contribute to the paradigm shift, and be a better person.

Lately, I've become quite gloomy about the central purpose of my career and personal pursuits: contributing to the paradigm shift that helps heal the planet. The external and internal forces against me are building and I feel close to resignation. I'm weary of the rampant individualism and market forces babble that threatens the wellbeing (however you define it) of existing and future generations of humans and other species. I'm just tired.

Perhaps, I need to be on the front lines of the debate and the movement. I need to resign from my relatively plush lifestyle and get my hands and feet dirty enacting some sort of change and truly helping to make things better. Right now, I sit at my desk in an air conditioned high-rise in the middle of the city attempting to protect the environment through newsletters, emails and action alerts. It doesn't feel right. There has to be a better, more fulfilling way for me to contribute to the cause.

But am I strong enough to take that step? Deny myself the simple luxuries of running water, a private apartment and ease of transport? Enter into an unknown world with people who are just as resistant?

Once again, I'm not making any sense. I just don't feel fulfilled anymore in my career. And I don't think I will feel fulfilled with a desk job. I need to get my hands dirty. Whether than means working on an organic farm in rural Georgia, teaching inner city students in the slums of Detroit, digging a well in Africa, or teaching Latin American students the importance of safe sex, there has to be something else. Yes, I still want to become a professor and from my ivory tower, write papers and books about the paradigm shift as it relates to the environmental movement. But there is so much more I must achieve, experience and contribute before I can sit back and sit still.

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