Saturday, August 15, 2009

Capstone Accepted!

I am very pleased to announce that my capstone (thesis) paper, the culmination of my master's degree program at Penn, has been officially accepted by the university.

My capstone project, entitled "Cultivated Positive Emotions Inspire Environmentally Responsible Behaviors", will hopefully be published soon. Below is a teaser for your enjoyment:

From space, she looks just as she has for millennia. The depth of her blue is still beyond description. The complex swirling white patterns rising above the blue give the impression of both profound energy and staggering beauty. She appears as the embodiment of peace. What cannot be seen from space, however, is that she is sick - very sick. No one would ever know it from how absolutely stunning she looks from way up here. Not only is she very sick, but she is getting sicker every day. Her illness is not the result of some extraterrestrial menace. Her health is fading because of her own behavior – the activities of those for whom she is home. These harmful activities are making it difficult for her to flourish.

Her blood feels thick and heavy, making her lethargic. She is constantly stressed and anxious. The bad weather that she carries around with her all the time is really starting to affect her. She is finding it more and more difficult each revolution around the sun to shake the storm clouds that shroud her thoughts and emotions. After each daily rotation, it is harder for her to see and think clearly. Mother Earth is depressed and dismayed.

She knows that something needs to be done. For the past several hundred years, the behaviors of her children have been destructive. Deep down, she knows that these destructive ways can no longer continue. Unlike her children, however, her memory spans thousands of millennia. She personally identifies with all that has gone before, and she knows that those who now dominate her vast surface are a formidable foe. Though she recognizes that some treatment of her symptoms is important and necessary, just fixing what is wrong with her will not be enough to cure her. Like all living things eventually do, she has reached a critical point in her life.


Dan Bowling said...

Congratulations David! I love your intro. And thanks for being a part of my world now; while I feel our politics might differ a bit your thoughts are challenging and enriching to my life. I have found myself here on the Key living slightly differently, thinking more about fish harvest and sustainability, among other things. Also, living an almost 100% farm/sea to table eating style (eat what I catch or my neighbors grow; avoid everything else).
Dan B

DC Portland said...

Thanks Dan. I feel the same about having you a part of my world. One of the things I like best about you is that you are a "doer". A lot of people talk about living sustainably, but few actually do it. It sounds like you are doing it with your food. I'll have to visit you someday to share in the bounty.