What Would You Give Up?

Our world in good hands

Consciousness: inspiration


Would you walk away from ten years of your life work and passion – because your conscience now tells you, your work is not safe for the environment? Well, that is exactly what our Friday Enlightenor just did.

John Lacy, astronomy professor at the University of Texas, has had the courage to stand up for what is right, and has walked away from awards and accolades and future success for his life work for NASA, because it is the right thing to do. With people like Lacy, our world will be in good hands…


Lacy has been working on a project for NASA for which he received the Mulmann award in 2004. The award is given for “recent scientific observational results made possible by innovative advances in astronomical instrumentation, software or observational infrastructure.”

The problem is that Lacy now believes the use of this equipment is excessively harmful to the environment.


Two years ago, Lacy began to teach an introductory course on the solar system for non-science majors. As he taught these students about the dangers of emissions trapped in the planets atmosphere, he became uncomfortable with his own research.

Lacy has been developing a telescope that will be mounted on the back of a Boeing 747 that will fly four times a week for 12 hours at a time, for the next 20 years, measuring the chemical make-up of objects light years away.

“How can I tell these students that it’s a serious problem and we ought to do something about it, when I’m working on a project that will have more impact than all of them will have,” Lacy commented.

His colleagues believe that the impact of this one project is so small compared to the emissions from the tens of thousands of daily flights.

Even his boss says,” I was somewhat taken aback by this”, Neal Evans, chairman of the UT Astronomy Department. “Everybody here has to operate on their own judgment about their science and any ethical issues”, and he adds, “I personally don’t have any ethical issues with the project.”


Congratulations to John Lacy!

It seems his colleagues values are based, not on whether it is wrong or not, but if it is not as bad as what others are doing… why be concerned?

Hhmmm – this is a little like saying we only robbed the bank for ten thousand dollars, and since others have ripped it off for billions, we do not really believe we have done anything wrong or unethical.

Lacy is a wonderful example of how each and everyone of us has to stand up and act on what it right.  When we finally have enough people doing that , we will see collective results.

What will happen, if instead, everyone continues to follows the values thinking of the Department of Astronomy at the University of Texas – as long as others are doing more damage than me -why should I quit?


If you know someone who is quietly making decisions to do the right things for humanity, we would like to know about them. Let us know by contacting info@soulabundant.com... or leave the information in the comments section of this post.

Organizational Behaviour Consultant
author: Imagine Your Soul Abudant: Attracting Success, Fulfillment and True Happiness
more about: www.soulabundant.com
Judy’s book can be ordered from her website www.soulabundant.com.  Special prices for bulk orders upon request. Seminars and retreats customized to the needs of your group or organization.

Tags: , ,

One Response to “What Would You Give Up?”

  1. David VanAmburg Says:

    Judy, Thanks for the article.

    Dr. Lacy's action is all the more impressive when you consider the recent research supporting why people tend to go along with a majority view, even if that view is objectively incorrect, http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/01/15/social.confo...or the classic obedience research that shows the majority of people will do as told, even when it harms others, http://www.cnn.com/2008/HEALTH/12/19/milgram.expe...

Leave a Reply

Free eNewsletter

Stimulating resources for a more fulfilling life & affluent business.

Blog Schedule & Access