I just read about an inspiring individual, so bent on affecting social change, he willingly and happily has given up cash, and as such, has embraced a lifestyle that doesn’t require any. The most profound thing, to me at least, about his choice and the intent behind it, was the realization to which he came while talking to a friend about how to affect the most change:
“We were looking at the world’s issues – environmental destruction, sweatshops, factory farms, wars over resources – and wondering which of them we should dedicate our lives to. But I realised that I was looking at the world in the same way a western medical practitioner looks at a patient, seeing symptoms and wondering how to firefight them, without any thought for their root cause.”
He goes on to say that, “One of the critical causes of those symptoms is the fact we no longer have to see the direct repercussions our purchases have on the people, environment and animals they affect.” This stuck me deeply, as it is the primary reason I do what I do. I firmly believe that if people truly knew how each and every one of their decisions to buy a certain chocolate bar, or type of coffee, or stick of gum, or pair of shoes, or car, or stock options, or cell phone plan; affects a chain of people and various parts of our environment in varying degrees of destructive ways; they would choose more conscientiously. I firmly believe that education and information, as well as being a living example, are the ways to help affect social and environmental awareness and change.
Headline image © Mark Boyle