These are my vows from 2016. See my updated vows here.
This page now serves as an archive, not my current vows.
My aim in life is to be a genuine leader in order to affect massive positive change in the USA and around the world. I am 29 as I write this and I know that this won’t happen overnight. I am dedicating myself to a lifetime of work in the service of humanity, the earth, and the creatures that we share our home planet with. In order to truly lead by example I feel that it is important to make personal commitments and I am making them public so that I have no choice but to stick to them. It is very easy to say you’re going to do something and then go back on it. By making my commitments clear and in print I am helping to make sure that I will stick to them in possible times of temptation or despair. These vows also intend to show an example of how we can dedicate ourselves to something far greater than ourselves and live a life that is truly in alignment with the beliefs that the world should be a more sustainable and just place.
I vow to…
Practice financial transparency. There will be no hiding of what I do with my money. You’ll know where it comes from and who I support.
Donate 100% of my earnings from media to nonprofits. This includes TV shows, books, etc.
Earn a maximum of
$5,000 per year (updated to the federal poverty threshold). I will not be financially benefiting from the success of getting my messages out there. Money often makes the best intentioned people lose site of the best interest of others. That will not be happening to me.
maximum of $5,000 (updated to an equivalent of the federal poverty threshold) worth of possessions. I aim to put minimal to no priority on material possessions. I currently have about 100 possessions to my name which you can see at My 111 Possessions. The value of them is about $3,000. I believe that society and humanity would benefit greatly by sharing rather than needing one of everything for everyone.
maximum of $5,000 (updated to an equivalent of the federal poverty threshold) in cash and financial assets. I want to show that you don’t necessarily need much money to live with great levels of health and happiness. On the contrary the happiest people that I meet usually are not financially wealthy but focus their lives on relationships, love, nature, and the simple things that are available to us all if we should choose to focus on them. I currently live without a bill, debt, or credit card to my name and intend to keep it this way.
Not pay federal income taxes. The US government puts hundreds of billions of tax dollars into war, prisons, and corruption and I will not support this. In my lifetime I will contribute far more to my country than the average tax payer does and I will do this by means other than paying federal income taxes. I’ve created other taxes on myself by donating 100% of my media income to nonprofits that I find far more just and beneficial to society and the earth. Note: I’m doing this in a completely legal way through voluntary simplicity because I do not earn enough to owe any taxes.
Not take social security in this lifetime. Since I’m not paying into it I won’t be taking from it, simple as that.
Distribute most of my work on my website and social media under a creative commons license. This includes all the content that is on my website including my photos, videos, and blogs. I think information on health, sustainable living, and how to be good to the earth should all be free. In my mind, it makes no sense to charge people for health and happiness. Because of that my work and content will always be accessible to everyone regardless of who they are or how much money they have.
Offset all flights that I take 3 fold. My aim is to fly a lot less but at times I think it makes sense to fly in order to affect the change that I am trying to make. If I do fly I have created guidelines to follow and have committed to offsetting the carbon 3 fold using the highest standards of carbon offsets on the market.
Focus my life on health and happiness. I will be living a life that is attainable to others and aim to live in a way that does not put myself above others. I want to live in a manner that is beneficial to the earth, my community, and myself and does not cause environmental and social destruction. I will live a life that is close to the earth and close to nature.
I first made my vows on 04/08/2015 and this is an update of the vows as I decided to take them a few steps further. I am taking these vows initially for four years. Too often I see people make lifetime commitments and all too often I see these “lifetime” commitments last a fraction of their life. So because of that, I am making this vow for four years (unless it says for life then that is a lifetime vow) until 04/08/2019 at which time I will be 32. I chose four years, the length of presidency in the USA, because I wanted to feel how long that is so I can understand how so many of them break their promises in that time. I would imagine that I will renew these vows after four years but only time will tell that.
To see where my media income has gone so far see my media income here and for more detail on some of my vows visit my vows here.
UPDATE: See my vows page, where I have updated my vows as of 2020 and will keep updated indefinitely.