The Accidental Environmentalist

“Want to meet for coffee?” said the text message from Anto. He is an electrical engineering who, years ago, happened to get involved in a start-up dealing with energy storage. Now he works for one of his former vendors who produce the components needed to convert raw power into usable energy. Currently he’s working on a solar converter for big power plants. “It’s a fluke I fell into it [but] I’m not leaving it. I believe we need a solution but I’m not a freaky ‘green’ guy or anything like that,” he says with a chuckle at the interesting turn his career has taken into environmentally friendly products.

This change has shifted Anto’s perspective on energy and its benefits. He thinks that of all the energy “blessings“ that have been bestowed up the human race, the easiest to access is oil. “Yet the cleanest is wind and sun and it’s abundant, but we just haven’t spend time to harvest it the way we should,” he says. “I think it’s kind of ironic that humans have gone to the easy stuff whereas they could’ve worked on this decades ago. We’re kind of late but I think it’s going to happen. There’s no two ways about it.”

Strong words from a man who, over ten years ago, was managing gas stations. “I was trying to figure out how my life took an interesting turn,” he says of the time spent in the family business. Anto got his start in the telecom industry right out of college. Two years into his career he chose to join the family business while his colleagues caught the “dot com” boom. He spent ten years helping the family but all the while he kept trying to find a way to get back into a field that was technical and would utilize his education. “I had no idea it would take this long,” he says of his circuitous career path.

“You’ve gone from oil to solar. That’s a big leap.”

“Yeah. From selling gas to trying to avoid selling gas, I guess,” he says with a laugh acknowledging the irony.

Anto has no interest in returning to the family business. His father manages them now. “It’s good to keep him busy but I hope he’s not going to one day leave me something. I don’t want it,” he says emphatically. “I never liked that business. I always pictured myself doing something on my own. That’s probably it. It’s probably a personal issue I have to get over. I’ve always put a burden on myself that I have to do something.”

“Is it accidental or coincidental that you ended up in a field concerned with the health of the environment?” I asked.

“I don’t know,” he says and continues, “Maybe the intention was there but it seems like the way I ended up there was coincidental unless there was some other ‘source’ or some other ‘power’ that led me there knowing that I was always trying to get out of this box.” Anto says referring to his new sense of a higher spiritual power which he calls “the source.” “I have certainly become a believer in the power of the universe and all that stuff over the last 6 months or so,” he says and explains how during one of his business trips he picked up an audio book that inspired this new way of thinking. “I really liked it. The way he [the author] is talking about increasing the frequency of your energy field. It makes so much technical sense because doing things with high frequency you get so many benefits – technically,” he says trying to explain how the language the author used appealed to his scientific mind.

“So what’s changed for you since you began believing in ‘the source’?”

“The guy [author] talks about giving to the universe and the universe giving back. It’s true,” he insists. He has adopted a new policy at work where he’s decided to share his technical knowledge, regardless of the consequences. “It’s helped me be more comfortable because then I never question myself as to having ulterior motives.”

Although this whole attitude towards the bigger picture of life is a fairly recent phenomenon, he had always been aware of a higher power. He felt a connection to it but never understood it in these terms which he describes as “the terms of infinity and us, our soul. We’re traveling, we get this form, we travel and we continue to travel towards something else.” As to the spiritual and cosmic process he explains, “I never thought of it in terms – like my sons were somehow supposed to be born to me, as they move through their souls, and they continue on.” This whole process makes a lot of sense to him now. “Ironically it was always there, always trying to tell me things. Now I’m in tune with it. That’s the difference.”

When asked what he will do with his newly acquired knowledge about his higher self and the power that comes with that knowledge, Anto replies that even if there is a glimmer of hope that there is truth in what the author said “the more we can tap into the higher frequency of this energy that we have, the more it helps the collective energy. I’m completely with that.”

A few months ago Anto came up with a patentable idea that really pushes his company’s products to their limits. Several manufacturing companies are now considering his proposed process. “It’s like I raised the whole field to do R & D [research and development] on this concept.”

“Do you think that is why you’ve gotten involved with solar panels and contributing to the health of the environment? Maybe that’s why the universe put you there?” I asked, curious to know if there was a correlation between his personal revelations and his career path.

“That’s very interesting. I never though about it in those terms,” he replies. “That’s very appealing to me – that I can do something in that aspect.”

The most empowering facet Anto finds about the “source” is the ability to use his mind in ways that it had not done so before. “I do look at my mind as just a tool for me to use. It’s not my identity,” he says. He believes that people are born perfect – just as the “source” or God intended for us to be.” It’s just a matter of tapping into that source and letting everything else flow out of it,” he states simply. “I’m very comfortable to sit back and say that [contributing to the environment’s well being] is what I was meant to do. That’s what I’ll do. That’s a good feeling.”

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