Have you assessed your core values lately?
I have been attending the Pathway 2007 forums and participating in the placed-based community workshops for the past year. Both are re-envisioning processes for Tahoe’s future and are organized by the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, US Forest Service, Lahontan Water Board and the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection. My showing up is one way I’m giving Tahoe a return on investment it has made in me.
My early Tahoe life experiences lead me to seek an education in ecology, a profession in sport and lifestyle marketing, and avocations in leadership training and spiritual ministry. Each of these domains (environment, business, community) has coalesced over the past 30 years to form my very own values-based “triple-bottom line” point of view about Tahoe’s dynamics. It is from this integrated view point that I make the following comments.
Mobilizing a group of people to take a unified action toward a common vision and goal can be a challenging endeavor and a highly valued attribute. One of the most effective ways I know how to facilitate congruent action is to go through an experiential process of declaring and aligning our core values. Each of us acts from our core values, consciously and unconsciously, and very few of us have ever named them. It is in the naming of our core values, publicly, that we drop our professional posturing, personal pretenses and our agendas to reveal what is most dear and valued to us. When we display our genuine humanity with one another, we learn what we share in common. It is the shared values that unifies us, creates a common story, increases our capacity to act, builds trust and gives us the energy and traction needed to move together more effectively with greater ease.
We can speak about Lake clarity all we want, but until a majority of the people share a common clarity of vision and act responsibly from that vision, the water will continue to degrade – just like our seeing. What I am bringing to light is that our outer world is strongly influenced and shaped by the thinking and actions we take from our inner world – our core values. This is true because what is at work is a law of the universe – energy follows attention.
The Pathway process will carry on and make course corrections along the way towards the intended destination. And, equally needed and perhaps more relevant is to ask ourselves what can each of us do to influence and shape Tahoe’s future right now? I suggest a powerful step can be to name and claim your own personal values-based “triple-bottom line.” Ask yourself the following questions: What are the qualities or characteristics about living in Lake Tahoe that touch me so deeply?; and, what core values are being honored and expressed by my living in Tahoe? (Here are several examples of core values; love, family, health, aliveness, trust, integrity, education, peace, intelligence, honesty, security, community, connection, etc.) Another valuable move is to take a self-assessment on how your choices in transportation, recreation, household energy efficiency and consumerism affect the health and vitality of your body, the community and the ecosystem. Make a list of your findings.
By reviewing what we most care about, naming what motivates our choices and drives our actions, we can begin to see the person we truly are and take responsibility (be accountable) for the world we are creating.
The status quo of going alone and distinguishing ourselves by seeing the differences in others has gone on way too long. We are witnessing the symptoms, documenting the evidence and reading the stories about our systems and relationships that are breaking down from the “old school” way of doing business.
It is now time to consciously own our core values and move from them as a congruent act of our “triple-bottom line” to be healthy, prosperous and responsible citizens and stewards of Tahoe’s future. It’s also time to begin transforming our body politic to become a “new school” of community collaborators. A collaboration that sees each other as co-creators in a promising future to serve one another, this sacred place and possibly the greater community beyond our mountain.
We have important work to do – urgently mobilizing a clear and unified front toward an increasingly more relevant, opportune and sustainable Tahoe.
Tahoe’s future is inside you.
– Ty Polastri is a Stateline resident, and founder and president of the Lake Tahoe Bicycle Coalition and owner of Entersport Marketing. He is presently collaborating with Tahoe-Reno International Film Festival to present environmental, spiritual and adventure sport films at the Lake Tahoe Community College this August.
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