Fakers gonna fake.
Fake it until you make it.
It just hit me! We are all a bunch of fakers! The sustainers are all fakers. But in the most possible positive sense.
I am part of a small group of people who decided to come to Germany to study a joint international master's in sustainable development. This program brings independent, motivated, and in general naturally curious people together. These people — my people — call ourselves “sustainers.” We think we sustain the world. Perhaps, or perhaps we just like the concept. I don’t know. There has been some critique surrounding the name. Some people say that it is a bit pretentious to call yourself a sustainer. Is it? I don’t know. But to be honest, I don’t really care.
What I do care about is making the world a little bit better. I want to leave things better after my existence. Is that easy? I don’t know. But I try. And to try, I learned, is like starting a new job. You start learning the ropes: your role, your tasks, your colleagues, the whole ‘situation.’ After some time, you realize that you don’t have a fucking clue how to do that job. If you have not felt the urge to get into a learning attitude, then you are doing it wrong. In a complex world, it’s impossible to know — or control — everything. So, the next step is understanding that the only way to keep the job is to fake it. Keep working at it until suddenly you realize you aren’t faking anymore. Fake it until you make it.
There are many reasons to call ourselves fakers: First and foremost, we have no fucking idea what we are doing. We are just embedded in an overwhelming sea of complexity that is unconsciously drowning us. Everything around us is chaotic and moving at the speed of light. Literally. But still, we are doing something. We’re trying to learn about a weird situation we cannot fully understand (you know, the changing climate). We came to another country just to learn about this shit. That is amazing. It plays with your deepest desires and most ambitious goals. Some of us come from less privileged countries, some of us needed to take on debt from who knows whom just to pay for flights and a cheap room. Thank you Spärmühl for existing!
And finally, what do we do when we come to another place to learn about sustainability? From near or distant lands? We learn about ‘The situation.’ We learn either through reading about it or because — I think — we have the sudden power of comparison: we compare through the experiences of these cool people from so many different cultures, who meet and talk as friends. We get together and think because we have time to think. Why are things like this here and like that there?
For now, I’ll keep faking it. I’ll keep holding the tension of my incoherence. I will bring people together so they can fake it with me. We will fake systems until they become reality. Maybe one day we can make sustainability a reality too. Or is it already happening? I don’t know. Until then, it is just cool to hang out together. Doing things so that things happen. It is ok to be a faker for sustainability. Ray Bradbury put it super wisely: “We are what we do.”
Edited by Alex Bernatzky