So, you’re asking how can I make a difference in the world? I will tell you right now: Choose Your Leaders Carefully – Shop Ethically!
I’ve been thinking about equality and justice or the lack thereof. My heart goes out to the people all over the world who suffer the worst kinds of plights, tragedies, and atrocities. I’m in the privileged position of living in a peaceful place. But even here, inequality exists, and I was wondering two things:
- What responsibility do I bear?
- What can I do to alleviate other people’s suffering?
In the midst of this, I came across a wonderful poem by June Jordan. Entitled “Apologies to All the People in Lebanon”. The poem manages to display the multi-faceted nature of international politics and the very real and often horrid consequences for people at the receiving end of political decisions. At the same time, the poet makes a connection between the leaders we choose and the suffering we may end up causing, wittingly or unwittingly.
Another topic that has been bothering me over the last few days is financial inequality. This is because of Amazon Prime Day and the contrasting reports on Jeff Bezos wealth and his staff’s plight.
But what have underpaid Amazon workers and Palestinian refugees got to do with me? Well, I guess to start with, I do care. After much thinking, I realized that – as an individual – I am a voter and a consumer. I can exert my power through the ballot box and my spending choices. If I care, I can choose political candidates who will alleviate suffering rather than cause more, and I can choose to purchase products from companies who treat their workers fairly. Alone, I won’t make waves with this strategy but if enough people do this, ruthless politicians won’t win elections and ruthless company directors will see their empires crumble. So, how can I make a difference in the world?
We are Voters and a Consumers – Let’s Choose Wisely and Ethically
But how do you become an ethical shopper and how do you choose the right political candidate? For a start, you need to do some research. When it comes to spending your cash, you can check a company’s ethical ratings on the following website:
thegoodshoppingguide.com: This is a UK-based website dedicated to checking out company ethics. Here, you can search for a product and find out what brands rank highest when it comes to ethics. Factors like human rights, animal rights, environmental impact, fair trade, and more beyond make up the ethics ratings on this website.
So, what about ethics in politics? Well, if you’re serious about choosing candidates who operate ethically and are unlikely to drive a harmful agenda, you’ll have to research the candidates in your area. Find out about their past work, their position on issues that matter to you as well as what values and actions their party is known for. Let me give you an example. If you’re against homelessness, check out what each candidate has down to alleviate this issue in the past. What position does her/his party take on it? How successful have they been in combatting homelessness in the past? What plans are they putting forward in their election campaigns? Do this, issue by issue, centering on those topics closest to your heart.
Start or Join a Campaign
Whatever you may say about the ills of social media, it has given social justice campaigners a platform allowing to reach right across the globe. Anyone can start a campaign now, so if you feel strongly about an issue, go right ahead. When you do, you’ll probably soon find hundreds or even thousands of like-minded people and join forces with them. Persevere because change doesn’t happen overnight. Still, if you become a campaigner, at least you’re doing something other than just getting depressed about the state of the world.