On Love and Relationships

After reading John Stuart Mill's autobiography, I realized that he wrote very little about his love life. The only reason I can imagine why he would leave such a large part of his life out is because of the lack of utility it would have on others who would eventually read about his life. However understandable this reason may be, I find it such a pity that people will never get to know him from a different perspective.

Seeing how I have received such inspiration and knowledge from him, it makes sense that I would like to live a similar life of an intellectual. However, unlike him, I would want people who read my writings in the future to have a holistic understanding of what type of person I was and therefore, I find it appropriate now to explain my current status on love and relationships.

It is very difficult for me to be truly attracted to someone. As I have become older, I have had a better understanding of what type of person I would want to be with and my current desire is to be with a fellow intellectual. I should say that I have always been picky in the past, but for different reasons. I have had many changing criteria ever since high school, but I never really stayed true to them, so to be honest, I am not quite sure how true I will stay to them next time.

I find most women my age to be immature. Most of them I meet are into shopping and do not care much for the world. Most of them do not enjoy deep conversations and seem to have to no interest in developing themselves as an ends in itself. Is it too much to ask for someone with passion and intellect?

I have been single for about a year now and I do admit that I miss holding someone and being held. But at the same time, I would not want to shortchange myself by being with someone who did not attract me with their mind and heart. And so I wait.

Regarding My Faults

My oldest sister came to visit me over the 4th of July weekend; she was attending some conference in DC so she decided to spend the holiday with me. We ate together and hung out with some of her friends and then watched the fireworks at the National Mall. It was a fun 4th of July filled with deep conversations.

When I reflect on that weekend, a few things come to mind. One thing is that sometimes my sister knows me better than I do which actually makes sense because she has known me since I was a baby and my memories only go back to when I was six. Anyways, the reason why I say that my sister knows me very well is because of the adjectives she used to describe me when we were conversing. She called me narrow-minded, stubborn, and selfish.

Of course hearing this was displeasing so I started to defend myself. But upon further reflection, I do admit that there is some truth to what she said.

First of all, I should say that I do not believe I am narrow-minded. On the contrary, I feel that I am very open to new ideas. As long as the other person can logically make their argument, they will be able to convince me of their position.

Regarding stubbornness, I think there is truth to that. I believe I am stubborn when it comes to principle. I put a lot of thought into my strong beliefs and therefore, it would be difficult for someone else to change my mind unless they were very logical and moral. So yes, I suppose that makes me stubborn, but I do not think that the way I am stubborn is necessarily a bad thing.

Since I spend much of my time trying to live a moral life, the third adjective she used to describe me displeased me the most. She brought up this word because she knew that I determine my actions based on what I think and not what other people think, which is a very true statement. For example, if my parents' friends were hosting an event and my parents wanted me to come, I would probably just wear whatever I was wearing that day to the event. But my parents would probably want me to dress up nicely so that I would look presentable. However, my belief in the unimportance of appearance would make me reluctant to do so, even if this were to anger my parents.

Having said that, I believe the reason I would refuse to dress up nicely is not because of selfishness, but because of my failure to weigh the cost and benefits. I am a person who focuses strongly on morality, but sometimes this focus leads me away from other things I should be considering. It may very well be worth it to break my belief in order to please my parents. Weighing the cost and benefits is a skill that I should master and it is one that I want to master. Therefore, I do admit that my problem is failing to consider multiple principles simultaneously.

The last thing that I want to mention is that since I began to live in DC, I have really come to appreciate eating out; it is a luxury that I took for granted too often before. I hope I continue to live modestly for as long as possible so that I may truly appreciate my comfortable life.

C2C Job Application

Dear MBDC,

First of all, I should say that working for you is my dream job, I cannot imagine anywhere else I would rather work. However, before I get into the details, allow me to give you some background as to how I became familiar with cradle to cradle.

I was first introduced to the idea by watching a TED talk given by William McDonough. The talk was so interesting that it led me to start researching the design philosophy and its practical applications. And through my research, I came across a city called Venlo in the Netherlands that wanted to implement C2C. I was in Germany at the time so I decided to visit Venlo and some of the key players in the movement.

After my visit, I started a project called Cradle to Consumer which was a series of videos in which I introduced C2C certified products. I have since then discontinued this project because I did not think it was going anywhere. On a lighter note, I decided to start another project called The Cradle to Cradle Portal which is a website that contains all C2C related news.

I would like to mention that I did all of this research out of pure passion. I did not at anytime receive money for my efforts to contribute. In fact, I have personally invested money into my pursuit of contributing to C2C. Furthermore, I have spent countless hours pondering about how I could get into the movement because I truly believe in its cause. In my opinion, it is the ultimate green philosophy because of its focus on being good rather than less bad. The only alternative would be primitivism which I do not support.

Again, my research and independent projects were done out of pure passion in my free time. In my official work time, I have had multiple internships that were related to C2C. For example, I currently have an internship with the Responsible Purchasing Network which is a non-profit that helps states and municipal agencies purchase green. We publish purchasing guides on specific product types and provide webinars on green product developments. I have helped edit two charts on green purchasing: one on how it can attain STARS points and one on how it can attain LEED points. Both of these charts will be published soon. Furthermore, my current project with RPN is to write a report and publish another chart on eco-labels.

Another one of my internships was with a green consultant. Our goal was to not focus on products, but rather operations. We had our own checklist and rating system by which we measured a company's sustainability. On my first day of work, we went to a company that manufactured and sold compression hosiery. Our scorecard analysis took us from room to room and was very comprehensive.

Through these two internships, I have learned about both green products and green operations which I think is essential at MBDC.

I want to stress that my understanding of and experience with the environmental field is comprehensive. For example, one of my former internships required me to research and analyze environmental policy. And recently, I have just finished taking LEED Green Associate classes and will be taking the test within the next month.

In summary, I have a good understanding of cradle to cradle, green products, green operations, green policy and green buildings.

Due to the above experiences, I honestly believe that there is no one else better suited for this job than I am. Other people might have more professional experience, but they are in no comparison with me when it comes to passion.

Jason Chen