I GROW

Declaration of Growth

I GROW THEREFORE I AM is the call to action within this Declaration of Growth.

When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for all people to overcome political differences and align in support of a sustainable future for humankind, each individual should declare a commitment to personal growth that includes learning about each other’s opinions, embracing creativity, and seeking out ways to foster a more symbiotic relationship with nature.

I (Charlie Szoradi) wrote this above draft Declaration of Growth on 1/10/2022 after witnessing trends that have been building over the past year. The trends include political polarization, climate change, and supply chain disruptions, due to COVID-19 and other factors. A personal growth event over the first week of 2022 inspired me to write this Declaration and the accompanying “I GROW THERFORE I AM” message with the line of apparel. The clothing is one means to share the message, and I also registered the website addresses: www.DeclarationofGrowth.com and www.iGrowThereforeiAM.com, which both currently link into this page.

The call to action, “I GROW THEREFORE I AM” has an intentional dual meaning to reinforce the need for personal growth at intellectual, creative, and emotional levels as well as celebrate the act of physically growing some plants right at home. Localized residential “farming” for me and some friends reduces farm to table distance and can, in its own small way, help ease the global water, energy, and food security nexus.

I grow therefore I am graphic

The Declaration of Growth was inspired by the U.S. Declaration of Independence, which at the time in 1776 was relevant for separation from England on many levels. Now, we have needs to combine vs separate our efforts vs to overcome the domestic political discord that threatens to tear our country apart. We also have challenges in addressing the impact of climate change, and growing some veggies at home reduces food transportation emissions and helps secure a better future for generations to come. Over the first week of 2022, I planted and harvested my first tray of microgreens, and it was much easier and more cost-effective than I ever imagined. Plus, the health benefits are excellent. I will add more videos to my Learn from Looking YouTube Channel to share the satisfying process with whoever seeks to learn and grow.

Reflections from the past:

I remembered from college at the University of Virginia that that the French philosopher Rene Descartes in wrote “cogito, ergo sum”, translated from Latin to “I think, therefore I am.” The iconic 1637 statement about thinking is an awesome catalyst for self-reflection and positive change. However, actions speak louder than words, and thinking alone is not the solution. Thinking is a tool to achieve action. I have been thinking about sustainability for three decades, since earning my Masters of Architecture at the University of Pennsylvania in 1993. I wrote my thesis on environmental “Eco-Humanism,” and my mentor professor Kinya Maruyama was a profound influence, especially when he hired me to work with him and his design team at his studio in Tokyo, Japan. More recently, over the past few years, I have been passionate about sharing the advantages of a plant based diet for health and environmental benefits. At the beginning of this year, I decided to take action by planting some microgreens at my residence. I wanted to walk the talk and go beyond thinking.

I also remember from college that in his 1759 novel, Candid, the author Voltaire (Fancois-Marie Arouet) wrote “We must cultivate our garden.” The message was not just about farming but about cultivating relationships and a responsibility that is local and concentrated on immediate action. It makes me think of the Nike slogan, “Just Do It.”

Creative Veggie Life:

The veggie planting that I chose to undertake has proven to be a form of cultivation on two levels.

1) The planting has yielded a crop of food that only costs about $16 to produce about $50 of vegetables each week. This is a 3x multiplier with an outstanding return on investment (ROI). I am going to continue to do the same each week so that I can eat the microgreens as well as share them with friends. A local restaurant has already included one batch into some of their dishes and ordered multiple packs each week moving forward. The creative process of designing the label graphics as well as the I GROW THEREFORE I AM apparel has also been very satisfying.

2) The planting process has “cultivated” more than new plants. I have benefited from new knowledge, new relationships, and new personal growth. The learning curve and the interaction with friends and colleagues, for whom I have shared some of the crop, has opened my eyes to many now possibilities.

See more on CREATIVITY

I GROW THERFORE I AM is a call to create healthy food and a healthy mind. Planting veggies may not be for everyone, but personal growth should certainly be on the list. As an example, over the past few years, I have made a point of getting my news from multiple sources to triangulate the truth. On many days, I’ll click between CNN and FOX News within the same evening prime time hour and then listen to BBC News Radio on the way to school with my kids. At very least they know that I do not rely on a single source of information and that it is important to knowing the source of any information.

For perspective, I had forgotten that the U.S. Declaration of Independence, reference Laws of Nature: “When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

Get in Gear

I found companies that make T-Shirts and other gear out of recycled plastic bottles, recycled cotton, hemp, and organic cotton. If you would like to celebrate this “I GROW THEREFORE I AM” message, please click HERE.

I grow therefore I am - T-Shirt

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I grow therefore I am - apparel

Thank you for taking the time to read this content. I feel energized with my recent planting and more intellectually alive than ever. Hopefully, you will see the value of “growing” as well.