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The unforgiving minute (2): the hard part / the meaning of sustainability

See here for The Rules of the Game

On the really hard part

Solving a specific local problem – digging a well, running a small school, building an app, greening a neighbourhood – is rarely the hard part. The hard part is making the change sustainable. You don’t, for example, merely want to dig a well: you want to dig a well that will continue to operate and provide water for years to come, which means it will need to be maintained and repaired, and used in such a way that it doesn’t run dry.

Digging the well is easy; fostering the ecosystem that will sustain its benefits will be harder; growing something that will continue to flourish, to grow and get better after you’ve gone is hardest of all.*

Hard is worth it.

*This is the highest level of sustainability – not “We hold onto what we’ve got now,” but rather “We keep making things better.”

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