A green builder is a humble builder. They listen to the land and surroundings and take their cues from that. They see what nature is offering in the locality and use those resources, thankful for the gift. They build as a servant to the local nature, not a conqueror of it.

Like hunters of yore who apologized to their catch for killing it, green builders need to build as guests in the environment.

“Please pardon the intrusion into your space dear nature. We will do our best to be good guests. Thank you for letting us be part of your space.”

In turn nature will be kind to us.

In Brooklyn it is no different, only the scant nature needs more support and your neighbors deserve the same humble appreciation.

We are building a green show house. It has taken us longer than we thought. Our front and back yard is full of salvaged garbage from dumpsters. The place looks like a shit hole.

Yet we have no problems with our neighbors.

This is because from day one we were very clear that we were guests in their space. Before even getting permits we contacted all the neighbors personally with humility and great gratitude. This continues as they tolerate us and our mess.

The relationship is one of deep respect and caring. Even though they are sick of the construction they understand our efforts and support them. In return we would do anything for them in appreciation for their tolerance.

This attitude is revolutionary.

A block a way there is a job site. They are at the other extreme. They have been shut down 15 times by neighbors. They are in a crippling standstill. Everyone is miserable.

And this is the real value of humility. It is an awareness that there is always something greater and more powerful than us. This not a bad thing. It is not about have low self esteem. We are great. But there is greater.

The value is that with that attitude you are always open to others. You are always able to see greatness in others and even acknowledge the possibility that they are right. Again it is not that you are wrong. You are right. But the acknowledgment creates a wisdom that is so powerful.

That wisdom connects you to the universal oneness of the world. And in that space you will always tread correctly. You don’t have to be wise. You don’t have to be a great scholar. You don’t even have to be intelligent.

Humility. That is all you need. The rest comes so easy.