Sustainability’s emerging popularity has enthralled many young people, interested in dedicating their lives to work in the field, developing privileged understanding of the term’s meaning. The new wave of forward-thinking professionals possess sustainability knowledge, but they treat the knowledge like a special right granted only to a select few. Sustainability professionals, by and large, need to develop empathy to understand the perspective of others and begin to work collaboratively with those with whom at first they may disagree.
This empathy-lacking sustainability ideology views education and intellect as nearly synonymous for knowledge about environmental issues and social causes, and dismisses the notion that anyone could genuinely be uninformed about the matter. However, “never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity (Hanlon’s Law).” Sustainability has not always been a concept at the forefront of consideration, and many people merely lack adequate exposure to the importance of thinking beyond short-term profitability.