During lunch break, I talked with some of my colleagues about a norwegian architecture bureau. I didn’t know it before but my norwegian classmates told me that this bureau doesn’t care about environmental issues but are very successful with their super stylish designs. We all know that this is quite normal in our days: the one who cares about the environment and social issues is very often not “successful” whereas the one who blows things up and sells shiny but empty packages gets a lot of attention (and money). I’m not a psychologist but having observed people for 26 years, my impression is that people who are truly concerned with environmental and social issues somehow don’t care too much about attention and material success.
But what made me really think was another point we discussed: everyone of us seems to have a quite “realistic” idea of life outside/after university. For most of us, university is a place for utopian dreams where we can work ethically, sustainable, social – a place where we can create or think about a better world. But when it comes to working in “real business”, almost everyone agrees that once we start working, we have to find compromises and probably even have to work “unethical” or “environmental unfriendly” in order to get some butter on our bread. Somehow I’m quite relieved that everyone is realistic and honest about this. But on the other hand, this attitude makes me really sad: how can things change for the good if there’s always an exception for going on with doing “bad” things? Is there really no choice? Can’t we live without butter on our bread for a while? And can’t we use our creativity to find an alternative to butter???