06. FROM CHAOS TO ORDER
In a consumer society, there is no end to the desire to go above and beyond.
We create new necessities every minute, thrown out at the exact moment in which we conquer that necessity, creating new and inaccessible desires. There is only one conquest that can be seen as final: self knowledge.
When we intimately connect with who we are, we bring out the best that we can offer to others: ourselves.
Garbor Maté is a Canadian doctor, born in Hungary in 1944. He never chose the easy way; he took care of the terminally ill and treated patients that suffered drug addiction, mental health problems and HIV. Aligned with case studies, he became known for his unique perspective on Attention Deficit Disorder and thinks that the first question in treating addiction is not ‘Why are you addicted?’ but ‘Why does it hurt?’
If the success of a doctor is measured by the longevity of his patients, the post-Nazi genocide Hungarian-born, Canadian psychiatrist Gabor Maté is a failure. As a specialist in terminal illnesses, chemical dependents, and HIV positive patients, Dr. Maté is a renowned author of books and columnist known for his knowledge about attention deficit disorder, stress, chronic illness and parental relations. His theme at TEDxRio+20 was addiction -- from drugs to power. From the lack of love to the desire to escape oneself, from susceptibility of the being to interior power -- nothing escapes. And he risks a generic and generous prescription: "Find your nature and be nice to yourself."
Explorer, environmentalist, educator, film and TV producer, writer. These are only some of the diverse sides of Jean-Michel Cousteau, son of the legend Jacques Cousteau and considered one of the greatest environmental preservation activists in the world. In 1998, he received the Environmental Hero Award from the then American Vice-President Al Gore. He received various honors as well as the Emmy and Peabody Awards, TV program awards in the United States.
At 74 years old, Jean-Michel Cousteu, son of the explorer Jacques Cousteau, till considers himself to be a sponge that is always absorbing new lessons, like children do. From a childhood in a family that is dedicated to the oceans he brings exceptional experiences, such as arriving late to school because he was hunting octopus, that he sold after class to the police chief. But the memory of living in connection to the oceans is crystal clear: without water, there is no live and the water on Earth is only one. At 61 years old, the environmental activist founded the Ocean Futures Society, a non-profit organization that seeks sustainable solutions for the ocean and marine life. “Everything is interconnected and we are not just visitors on this planet. Those who protect the oceans are protecting themselves,” he teaches.
More than 30 years of work that today concentrates on the development of technologies for the production of clean energy. This is just one aspect of the life and of the work of the businessman Daniel Magnus Cheifetz. He was one of the first of 40 software developers for Macintosh, worked at an organization that provides websites for involved organizations and worked on the development of Livelink, the first document management company to be based on the internet. He is currently the CEO of the company Building Energy.
With the expectations of Rio+20, the business man Magnus Cheiftez launched a challenge at TEDx, the Rio+NOW: “We have the opportunity to fix what was done now. We have learned a lot more about life than we have ever known before and that can make all of the difference in the world,” he says, remembering the important technological landmarks in the last decades as the first computers linked in a network (1984) and the arrival of the internet (1996). Currently, Magnus is the CEO of Building Energy, which has the mission to create innovative solutions for the heating and cooling of buildings. According to him, 40% of our energy consumption is linked to construction. “Computers are more valuable when they are connected to each other. Why don’t we do the same with buildings, making them more sustainable?” he asks.
Environmentalist since the age of 6 (yes, that’s right, 6), Severn Suzuki has already created an organization, spoke at Eco 92, graduated with an ecology and evolutionary biology degree and presented a children’s TV program. Her work spreading environmental consciousness and defense of the planet turned her into the main character of the documentary “Severn, the voice of our children.”
Severn Suzuki was one of the most awaited names of TEDxRio+20. After all, she moved the world with her involvement at age 12 at the Eco 92 conference, studied Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, as well as Ethnobotanics and continues to fight for the sustainability of the planet. Severn couldn´t be in Rio because of a scheduling conflict, but she was present, once again, in a moving way: live through the internet. At 32, she talked about how she changed a lot in 20 years whereas world leaders have evolved very little in terms of relevant decisions; the political strategy is still predominately economic. With this and with maternity, she discovered a new human power: intergenerational justice. “I am a better environmentalist today, but the five minute speech that ended up on the internet years later is still the most powerful thing I have done. I am a mother of two sons and I believe that it is because of them, the love between generations, that we are going to find the moral imperatives to guarantee a future.”
At 54, Nilton Bonder is a rabbi, writer, business consultant and surfer. With a degree in Jewish Literature, he won the Jabuti award in 2000 and the award for best Jewish writer in 2002. He is recognized for his work with humanitarian causes. In 2011, he won the 1st Rio without Prejudice Award - 1º Prêmio Rio Sem Preconceito.
The lecture of the rabbi and writer Nilton Bonder at TEDxRio+20 was as precise as a lightning strike. Just days before the United Nations Conference of Sustainable Development, he brought an issue onto the stage just as urgent as CO2 emissions: we need a new energy matrix for ourselves, human beings. His suggestion is the opposite of consumption, which recharges us with the power of having, an immediate and individualistic pleasure, and of the desire to take advantage of everything to the most: a human bond. “We have to discover a meaning to life through the bonds of which it is made,” he says, remembering the story of two children who are playing in the sand while the waves wash away their sand castles. “They don’t mind that the ocean washes them away, they happily rebuild the sandcastles, because they have what is most important: each other. This is what gives us energy.” Is it enough? Listen to what the ancestors said about maintaining internal clean energy.