This is the one ESG that should matter to us for a more sustainable world!
“Everything is more complicated than you think. You only see a tenth of what is true.”
– Synecdoche, New York — (Movie)
How much willpower do we have?
How is our discipline breeding your success?
How are our genes feeding our genius?
“Environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) is a framework designed to be integrated into an organization’s strategy to create enterprise value by expanding the organizational objectives to include the identification, assessment, and management of sustainability-related risks and opportunities in respect to all organizational stakeholders (including but not limited to customers, suppliers, and employees) and the environment.”
I have been living in a fantasy world most of my life. So when I arrived in France in 2000, I was alone, far away from my family and friends in Dakar, Senegal.
I grew up with American movies, their music, and, most importantly, a particular idea of their dream in my mind.
As I was far from home, I made many decisions. Unfortunately, I did not always have a friend or a family member that could understand what I was going through.
The more I was alone in France, the more I became a lone wolf, wandering around this environment while trying to blend in.
I never really asked for help unless I had no choice. I have that mirage of success as what the Americans sold me: I wanted to be a self-made man.
Spending more time in France, I developed a worldview, my fantasy world. Yet, as I reflect on that reality, I can still feel the claws of that word leaving fresh scars on my mind.
I always and still believe that everything that happened to me, more specifically my successes are the results of my fantasy agency:
My willpower is driving me forward, day in and day out. My discipline is helping me be consistent in creating art, even though its impact is limited. Perseverance is the second form of oxygen running through my bloodstream.
The more I reflect on it, the more I blame the rest of the world for my failures while at the same time taking ownership of all my successes. I want to say that I am a self-made man. I try to push that idea six feet under. Yet like a phoenix, it rises again and again.
Growing up in Dakar, Senegal, I spent most of my childhood watching TV shows and movies. Those stories were crafted abroad, mainly in the US and Europe.
I grew up with some of my heroes being Batman, Superman, and many White detectives. As I reflect on those heroes, I see what makes them unique.
They are all straight, White male heroes. They are disciplined and persistent, and their willpower can only match their oversized ego.
Even today, most of the stories we are sold are from that fabric of the White male superhero or a self-made billionaire.
Yet the closer I look into my fantasy world, the more I see the cracks behind that beautiful mirror.
FROM A FANTASY INDIVIDUAL AGENCY TO A REALISTIC COSMIC DESTINY.
I was blessed with fatherhood for the first time in 2019. Then it happened again in 2021. I have been living in France for more than 20 years. That means I had spent more time here than in Senegal when I left at 20.
As a parent, I see how close I am to my kids and how different our lives will be. Yet, I always have that impossible equation to solve: I want my kids to be as hungry as I am about life while I want to raise them in an abundant world.
My kids will more likely grow up in a different environment, a different society, and with different genes. Let me explain.
Their ESG (Environment, Society, Genetics) will significantly impact them more than willpower, discipline, and perseverance alone.
That is their real cosmic destiny, their ESG:
I have been living in a fairy tale. I have been blinded by the story I tell myself to feed my ego. The actual eco-sustainable story is that most of my successes have less to do with my willpower, discipline, and persistence. Harnessing those traits can be an edge.
The environment where we grow up has nothing to do with us. Yet it shapes most of our psychics before we can develop willpower, discipline, or perseverance. We can reflect on how the family we grew up in is impacting our lives today.
For most, living in western and abundant society is not the same as living in another part of the world where abundance is scarce and only reserved for the happy few. Living in a community with a certain level of freedom of speech is no comparison to living in a society where you can be ostracized because of your skin color, religion, or sexual orientation.
Being small, tall, and having pre-existing conditions surpass willpower, discipline, or perseverance. Yet, being healthy is the most underrated genetic advantage in this world. Many of us have lost our loved ones because of cancer, autoimmune diseases, and many more genetic randomness for which no cure exists despite our technological era.
The more I reflect on it, the more I see that I am more the results of my ESG than my sole actions from my fantasy individual agency. My willpower did not bring me to France, where I could have the opportunity to have a better education almost free of charge. However, the people who paid it forward often gave me opportunities long before I developed any discipline. I have been luckier than most people around me because I was born with curiosity and the ability to retain information quickly before I could learn the definition of perseverance in a dictionary.
Focusing and feeding the narrative of an individual fantasy agency is harmful and exclusive to a small handful of White heterosexual superheroes. That has two harmful consequences. First, it hides the fact that those superheroes are not living in a vacuum. They have parents, other people to be able to save, and other people supporting them. Second, it puts pressure on all those White men to think that it is their fault if they fail in life.
Acknowledging that the environment, society, and genetics are the key players in shaping our destiny is more inclusive. Focusing on creating a safe environment for every human will help create a more equitable world. Making sure that each human being feels like they belong to their society will make our world safer for each of us. Providing universal healthcare will ensure that we care for each other, regardless of our genetics.
Creating a safer environment, a more inclusive society, and equitable access to healthcare will decrease the level of dehumanization, hostility, and violence in our world. Because often, it is women, people of color, or people with different sexual orientations who are, at best, relegated to supporting roles or, at worse, erased. Then the White heterosexual men can use their willpower, discipline, and perseverance to save us for what they have created in the first place.
I wanted to be like a coconut: Brown outside but white inside. Yet I forgot that the coconut tree could not bear any fruit if it is not in the right environment, with the right climate conditions and if protected. So now I know that it is not only about what I am doing. It is about what the universe empowers me to do.
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#BIOS #BringInyourOwnSoul #LeadHeartship #Leadership
You can read my previous article on How would you spend your life if you had only 2 minutes and a half left? (Friendly link)
Photo by Stephen Leonardi on Unsplash