My childish thoughtsS.N. (Anonymous)
I look around and feel the sadness of all sensitive people, the sadness of those who do not think only of themselves or of their own interests, but have other people at heart. Those who are able to lessen their ego and feel part of the whole. I feel this sadness because it is now clear that everything will return to how it was before, and what appeared to be a great opportunity has become a missed opportunity.
Our enemies are already at work and those who want to make profits ignoring the common good have already reconverted, associated, become stronger.
While those who want to act with respect for everybody have a hard time in finding united forms of protest. Even when the moment is so extremely serious that we cannot remain separate, alone.
We feel a huge apprehension around us, tied as we are to the feeling of impotence. The idea that nothing can hold us together in a real struggle, not even a small one, but at least an active and united one, makes us feel desperate.
This serious situation can be synthetized in three points.
- The high degree of unhappiness of the majority of people, either because they have no work and are therefore marginalized, or because they wear themselves out in sad, humiliating jobs, badly paid that in fact don’t have the dignity of work and are really only temporary occupations.
- The unbearable inequality between levels of income whereby a few become excessively rich, others almost reduced to slavery.
- The serious damage that everybody inflicts on the Earth, the imbalance that shows us Westerners to be greedy and wealthy, guiltier than others. An imbalance destroying the very things that keep us alive, water, air, earth, animals and our own species.
What power do we have? The social conflict is almost without conflict, because we objectively have no power.
There is only one strength we certainly have, hardly useful compared to the great struggles, but we must be honest with ourselves and admit that for now the only power we possess is that we can get stronger by uniting.
It is the power to consume. The power to be a threatening mass of consumers. We should use this power to be effectively active regarding the three points above.
I have tried to sketch out a set of guidelines for sensitive consumers, knowing well we are not only consumers but also human beings who want more equality, more happiness, and more respect for the Earth and the sky.
It is as I said: we have the power to influence the world of production by changing our way of consuming, both fixing new rules and being ready to change our old habits, because changing our habits is our new way of standing up for ourselves. We could make this our starting point to be able to reach higher goals, which are, on the one hand to redistribute earnings and to improve living standards and conditions of workers, on the other hand to clean the Earth and behave more respectfully towards everything that keeps us alive.
GUIDELINES FOR SENSITIVE PEOPLE
- We will not buy products from firms that increase the degree of unhappiness of the Earth or its living creatures, humanity included.
- We will not buy products from firms where employees are not treated with respect and appreciation or fairly paid, firms that do not show they realize that it is the workers who produce their wealth.
- We will not buy products from firms whose means of production ruin the beauty of this planet.
- We will not buy products from firms that do not reinvest part of their earnings in useful utilities for the workers, canteens, nursery schools etc.
- We will not buy products from firms that do not reinvest part of their profit for cleaning the air, water, earth.
- We will not buy products from firms that use advertising in a dishonest and alluring way; we want advertisements that tell us how the workers are treated, what the work environment is like, what the pace of work is like, what difference exists between the wages of the least paid worker and the highest manager etc.
- We want the packaging to be reduced to the absolute minimum, to the least polluting.
- For those who produce meat, we request the possibility to be able to visit the farms and to see the degree of respect for animals’ welfare. For those who produce fruit and vegetables we want to know how the laborers are paid and treated. For those who produce cars that they do not pollute the air etc. For every product we will make our conditions known and the advertising will have to convince us of these.
- We will never buy products which have anything to do with the cutting down of big forests.
Like in every struggle, those who engage in it will have a price to pay for, a resistance to adhere to. Now, at this time, in this part of the world, our most powerful weapon will be abstention. What are we willing to go without? This is a very important question.
We could give up certain habits, for example eating meat; we could stop using Amazon if the workers of Amazon are badly treated. We could stop using our mobile phones, Facebook and all the other magnificent but enslaving technological devices, we could wash ourselves with cold water, we could stop eating so much, we could etc. etc.
These are my childish ideas. I know there is something possible, therefore something good. I know it can only be a beginning, the beginning of a wider struggle. I am waiting for a large number of people to contribute with their thoughts, that many may further the contribution with their intelligence, their courage, their desire for justice, their desire for a shared happiness.