This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
from an almost 3 year experience in Pakistan and India. So much has changed for me, that even still I find re-adapting to the Canadian culture difficult. I suppose some of the experiences I had will never leave me, some truths you cannot just sweep under a carpet. Now that I am back in Canada, the hardest part is trying to share those experiences I had in a way that help people understand these truths that I have seen: poverty, exploitation, corruption, dishonesty. I guess this feeling is shared by anyone in the field of sustainability. The question eludes me, while I find myself stuck between a rock and a hard place. The worst of all, for me, is falling on deaf ears to the ones that are supposed to be closest and most beloved to us: our family. The conundrum, in which I have befallen, is where to cross the line when on one side of it you know you cannot tell another person what s/he is doing wrong and how to live their life, on the other hand you cannot stand idle watching while ignorance is harming innocent people (and the environment) thousands and millions of miles away. What would you do if stuck in this situation, crying desperately to be heard, to share some tiny morsel of experience, that may trigger an awakening to just how damaging the majority of North Americans live. I know, I’m being harsh, accusing, judging. I know, but what would you do? What would you do if you knew someone was doing something that unbenownst to them is harming others, often, many others. “What makes you so much smarter than us” or “who are you to think you know whats best for us” are two phrases I hear in defense whenever I point out the pointless obessive purpose to an electronic pepper mill. I wish I had all the answers, no one has all the answers. I do have a lot of questions though, like these: 1. Why do we not question why places like Wal-mart can offer such ridiculously low prices? Can we not accept the reality that there are underpaid Chinese men and women (and often children) living and working in deplorable conditions to put together crappy products that aredesigned to be either broken, or unfashionable within 6 months. Not to mention the lives lost and sold into slavery over the extraction of cocoa for our chocolates, and diamonds for our dogs new burberry jacket? 2. Why we unquestioningly believe the FDA or our government would never approve any products that would be harmful to us, yet allow tobacco products in abundance, toxic chemicals to remain in shampoo, soaps, unrecyclable plastics to cover our produce, genetically modified fruits and vegetables that carry ridiculous “newest health wave trend setter” like pro-and pre-biotics (wtf?), animal meat that is so pumped with hormones (Bovine growth hormone), that ourmother-to-be’s breast milk contains dioxin (read deadly manmade toxin, leads to cancer) and our children are
hitting puberty earlier, and getting fatter and bulkier than anytime in recorded history. 3. Why we have to pay more for “healthy food”, since when did health become a choice? shouldn’t it be a given, like air or water? 4. Why do we allow companies to drill in our backyards, pollute our fresh water streams, and kill off communities and bio-diversity that has lived on the land for far longer than the English language has been around, just to turn around and sell us that which we used to get for free and in abundance: Water! Tap water vs bottled water has been proven (and again) to be a hoax, a self satisfying delusion that tastes oh so good with our pre-bionic, certified organic, high in calcium and omega-3, with 0 trans-fat and low cholestoral, diet, meals. 5. Why is it okay to bag our groceries in non-recyclable plastics produced from petrol, and drive SUVs in urban areas when we know that a large percentage of gasoline money goes to Saudi Arabia who uses a lot of that money to build madrassas all over the world, many of which teach a fundamentalist form of Islam, which only leads to more terrorism. Oh yea, not to mention that oil and gas production is a major cause of global warming (automobile emissions alone contribute to 30% of CO2 released into the atmosphere in the United States alone), and not to mention destruction to natural habitats; but as long as there is demand, the oil companies have an excuse to continue making money. 6. Why do we believe we can obtain quality of life or social stature by owning material things? We keep ourselves in sub-urban bubbles, ignorant of the thought about where our products come from, and most important, where it goes once we are done? Why do our politicians refer to us as consumers and not citizens? Why do we consider quality time to include the family sitting around watching TV, not communicating, not sharing, not caring - and we wonder why teen depression and suicide rates are rising? We have less leisure time than any society in recorded history, and our general effectiveness at work has dropped dramatically, mainly to do with the over-stimulation of advertisements trying to get our attention around every corner! 7. Why do we believe that drugs will cure our illnesses and not cause others? Why so much attention on treatment and not more on prevention? With staggering rising cancer and asthma rates in industrial nations, isn’t there more that can be done to keep us healthy? Why do pharma companies experiment on “psychological abnormalities” in children by diagnosing them with A.D.D.? More importantly why would doctors buy into this practice that is causing more harm than good to our childrens early stages of development? How are we supposed to trust anything in a world so wrought in corruption, and so blind to the public eye? So tell me, am I wrong to ask these questions? Should I just accept things as they are? Wait till someone else figures out a solution? (or invent something that could kill us all).
Is it true I don’t have a right to tell you how to live your life, when the media and society do so much of a better job at it than I do? Maybe I don’t want to tell you how to live your life, these questions should be more than enough to prompt you to ask your own questions and find out whatever it is you can do to jump off this crazy train speeding toward a cliff without breaks. What’s that? You want solutions? I thought you didn’t want someone telling you how to live your life. Well I don’t have solutions for you, only experiences on how I try to live a little bit better. But you’ll have to contact me or comment to hear what I have to say, I’m sick of trying to get your attention. It’s your turn to do something now. Mis à jour il y a environ une semaine - Commenter - J'aime - Voir le message d'origine - Signaler cet article Juanita Kwarteng, Emad Nadim et 4 autres personnes aiment ça.
Ramla Akhtar, à 18:18 le 2 mars Dear Archer: In between a question and its (obvious - to us!) answer lies an approach. It is not the answer that matters as much as the journey to that answer. Simply put: say we are tasked with giving a drawing class to fifth-graders. Or a science class about atoms. How are we going to make it interesting for them? Are they going to love it? Or must they come out with the fear of being ranked A, B, C? Nobody really wants to END UP with a fabulous painting (unless, they are a collector - and not even then!) as much as they want to enjoy the process of getting their hands dirty. And what good is it to learn how what atoms and how many? It is the scientific curiosity, the lab experiments, the successes and failures, the poorly drawn diagrams thrown in the dust bin that matter. THEY REALLY MATTER. Pun unintentionally intended. That is why humanity is going on. To APPROACH the answers we've had for thousands and thousands of years anyway.
Ramla Akhtar, à 18:24 le 2 mars Speaking of the collector -- say you were at an art exhibition. And you notice two buyers. One say, "Good. Book exhibits #23, 19, and 47 for me. How many dollars?
How do I pay?" Let's say s/he did pick really swell pieces. The other walks around. Steps back and forth to take in a piece of art. Seems to make (mental) notes. Stands in silence and in awe. Explains to a wild-eyed companion the marvels s/he sees in a lovely painting.... makes you want to eavesdrop, and perhaps go home and Google the stuff you didn't know about, but learned by overhearing. This buyer buys one piece - or perhaps just walks off in dizzy admiration. Which one of the two inspires you? Makes you LOVE art? This is what people want: a sense of joy and liberation. Not answers. We all know the answers. Our task as a teacher (in any capacity) is to put people above answers.
Hugo Bonjean, à 19:09 le 2 mars Great note! You made people think, that is all we can do for others (as well as loving them). Then the only thing that remains is to live and lead by example and defend the exploited and our precious planet from the actions of those that carry a vision of exploitation, a vision different from ours, a vision they are ruthlessly executing. When you stand up for your vision, you will be loved and you will be hated. Get used to that and learn to respect those who are fighting for a different vision, they live with more integrity than those who only dream of sustainability and don't take action towards creating their vision. They also give you a chance to show to yourself how much you believe in your own vision and what are willing to sacrify for it. As you clearly learned, questions are more powerful in moving people behind your vision than answers could ever be. Questions move the soul, answers (when they come from someone else) attact the ego. Keep doing more of this.
NimRa A, à 19:21 le 2 mars write for adbusters.i think u r obligated to.this belongs in there. canadian bhee hai, yarr..kurtinder :p many others ask these questions and ramla's mentioned journey to the answers has just begun. collective habbits are the hardest to break(the paradigm of war?) preaching never works.only when it collapses only then maybe"they" will rethink, reconstruct, re-cycle, re-use, re-alise.
today i met a genius. an autistic child, a seventh-grader with "learnign problems" and yet he's constructed a solar powered charger by himself and working on integrating solar panels with a ups system! and all we spoke about for 30 mins// like two kindred spirits was.. volts, adapters and batteries. hah. i am in awe. All i coudl do was look up and say"keep the new ones coming, we need them down here"..maybe he is crystal child. ill be teachign him. but in reality i think he will be teaching me more.
NimRa A, à 19:25 le 2 mars when i was 17, my best friend stormed out on me at a perfume store because i refused to decide on wht to buy: everythign n there was either cancerious or manufactured by a company that tested on animals or contributed to israel's millitary fund.. the shelves were lined with choices in fancy bottles endorsed by supermodels and yet not one i coudl take. this is a culture and society of the illusion of choice and yet depriving us of our most basic rights. change HAS to come.
Emad Nadim, à 21:48 le 2 mars Change is only sustainable when it is aligned with the interests of those that intend to be part of it. As long as interests, economic and otherwise, remain disparate to our ideal 'vision' of where the world should be headed, we will find ourselves with little support. More research went into alternative energy in the last 2 yrs, not because we suddenly acknowledged that we were pillaging this planet, but because oil prices rocketed and it was economical to now put this research into place. Tesco, Walmart or Carrefour - they will continue to stay competitive as long as they offer a price point so low despite the evidence that may come forth around their practices, simply because an alternative that may be better in it's supply chain, needs to also be as efficient to make sense. Fairtrade chocolate and coffee will never be the driver of these industries iif it has a differential price point.
Emad Nadim, à 21:51 le 2 mars Plastic bags, packaging materials, and the use of water in industry has only now begun to diminish due to the economic case that exists to doing so.
At least for now, this seems to be my understanding of the perceptions that lead human nature by and large. That is not to say that perceptions cannot be moulded and that this process cannot be expedited via colouring them with positive influence. In that sense, the power of influencing is as essential as the power of ideas itself.
Hassan Bin Rizwan, à 03:45 le 3 mars Kurt, beautiful piece! Great insight! And since you asked as to what you can do. Write man! Write about it more and forget about the response. Look at the evolutionary scientists and how they keep pushing for the wider acceptance of the scientific discoveries that stare right into the face of all religious belief. No criticism tires them. They just keep on arguing back with more evidence. Ramla, I love your take on the concept of learning and discovering. I totally agree with you. Success or failure are simply two outliers in the spectrum of learning and discovering. We have been conditioned into taking things for granted and our questioning spirit continues to wither away. In this age of consumerism, only consumers get consumed. We are all stuck in the cycle of working increasingly hard to earn increasingly less (in real terms) to pay more today for what we bought yesterday. It is a sad picture. Just keep on writing Kurt!
Nandan N Bhoopalam, à 05:01 le 3 mars Nice writing keep it going :)
Kurt Archer, à 05:42 le 3 mars Thank you all for your comments. I must admit, this was a bit of a rant by which I only wanted to share so much, but saw so little by way of avenue to share. Thank you for your encouragement Hassan, maybe I do need to write more. You're right Emad, this post doesn't celebrate the success we have achieved in the last decade, and there has been so much success, I hope to write more about those successes and less about the harsh reality we find ourselves in today. It pointless to even ask how we got here, its been generations of good intentions in the making.
Nimra, you are right, the most vulnerable in society will be the ones to teach and remind us of what is most important. Although, im not sure I would jive with Adbusters, but i could give it a shot! Thank you! Thank you for your comments Hugo, accepting that there will be tension whenever change is involved is the toughest part. Ramla: May the collector be greeting by a piece that reminds him of why he has become a collector. Awe.
Ramla Akhtar, à 06:43 le 3 mars Dear Kurt: There is always a piece, if not all pieces put together, that can enable awe. The intent to perceive this lies in the eye. Hassan's idea is actually the best in your case. Keep writing. Let writing show you where you're meant to go.
Juanita Kwarteng, à 08:15 le 3 mars Man this writing was THE SHIITT! BOMB DIGGITY YO! I loved the comments by the way..Kurt you have some cool friends! I believe that your rant has shown alot more about yourself than you realize..I think its shown that there's a way that you think the world should be and that its something worth taking action for, worth fighting for, worth writing about... And sometimes I think that we take that passion for granted...so I think its good that you found something worthwhile to be angry enough..because that anger and fustration can motivate you to do something about it. Especially in the part of the world that really that wastes alot.. I dont think you can tell people who to live..BUT...its the people that we all admire, the people's products that we use everyday...its them that have changed our lives...by creating something new. They thought the world could better and were angry enough t do something about it... I hope that you use how you feel to create something..to create a new way
Juanita Kwarteng, à 08:17 le 3 mars of thinking about the environment...create something or work for something that allows you to work towards the world you want to create. Passion and Anger are great great things....use them! :) Use all the fluffy shit inside your head....:) People spend their whole lives trying to find something worth fighting for.... I think that in 25 years you found hours.so your pretty blessed... thanks for sharing kurt.. Bani
Ricky Richard Seshie, à 14:00 le 9 mars I watched seven years in Tibet yesterday and this tibetan saying well summarizes how I feel about life, so the issue of sustainability too: ‘‘If the problem can be solved, there is no use to be worried about it, if it can't be solved, worrying will do no good.'' Not to worry does not mean you should not act or give all you have in the guts Not to worry means and i will take a spiritual stance here - is that this problem is not you, is not who I AM ultimately. Do not forget everything here is maya, mere illusion - we're not consumers or citizens, we're not fathers or mothers, nor husband and wife, canadians, chinese, indians...those are just roles given to camp. You see the baby, the very first moment he is born and comes out from his mum's belly does he say with his cries: 'look, I am canadian'
Ricky Richard Seshie, à 14:01 le 9 mars Of course not, we are just plain essence bottled in our ego madness and I bet if each of us could awaken its consciousness just for few minutes, we would realize the madness going on we are inflicting to ourselves so those are words to tell you not to trouble your being and aim for the highest in our human nature Now.....boom! What happens, welcome to the real world!!! So we do things, we can't ignore all those things happening here & there and affecting us... I like this quote saying: there is no man and no place without a war. Everything we do is a matter of choice - to go or not go, do or not do, to be sustainable or not to and when you say this guy is unsustainable, in a way you stand up for an ideal, you fight for a belief, you brand what he does as wrongdoing and you go to war. To be sustainable for me is worth sthg fighting for though
Ricky Richard Seshie, à 14:01 le 9 mars Now, let's look closer as what i understand to be sustainable 1. There is no question of sustainability without unsustainability; to what would you then compare sustainability? We should ACCEPT that we can encounter both everyday People acting unsustainable deny they could change what they do in a new way to be more sustainable People acting sustainable are sick when someone throw a paper on the streets and deny the very notion of throwing (what if I eat my orange and throw a seed in the soil in a city public park, wont it nourish it, perhaps
growing a tree?) On one side or another, I’ve seen people blaming themselves way too much so they are worried and it gives no news to the problem, realizing it is enough 2. Sustainability & unsustainability have been around for hundreds of years, perhaps millennia We just gave them modern names
Ricky Richard Seshie, à 14:02 le 9 mars The point why sustainability is so important today is simply that unsustainability has taken way too much proportion that it threatens our survival a specie and every living creature, including earth Our fight is not to bring unsustainability to extinct but to melt sustainability & unsustainability back again together so that in 20, 50 years (if we have time), our children will not encounter those very notions in their day to day life Our timeless job i guess is to claim back a lost balance, the equilibrium i will picture as a yin-yang circled 3. There is PLENTY and PLENTY; those words about lack, scarcity drive me crazy Of course, there is lack, diminution, scarcity within the system and only in the system answers said to be great so far have been to deprive people from rights, add new burdens or put a price We say you don’t have the right to drink safe water, oooh you go green by changing the color of your pants quite complicated huh or I make basmati rice (just an example) so rare
Ricky Richard Seshie, à 14:03 le 9 mars or make sure you perceive it that way so i charge you so high you can't afford it and it becomes an elite/luxury thing and I profit While some of those solutions temporary are needed to prevent further catastrophe, some are completely ridiculous and outrageous so why don't we change the system if it is that bad? Imagination as always been one of our strength Why don’t we come up with new economic, social and environmental models that benefit us all and give us a sense of pleasure & dignity about life? 4. Needless to say we're the one's inflicting all that pain to ourselves so we're the one that can say stop to the bleeding! and come up with solutions. I am excited to be part of a growing conscious generation; to be a CONSCIOUS PIONEER, so you should!!! Pioneers have this of uncommon that makes us special, we never allow ourselves to be in an indefinite state of rest
The goal and the journey towards the goal both really matters and Ramla pointed it very nicely
Ricky Richard Seshie, à 14:04 le 9 mars If we knew where we will be heading after death, you would see we would devise strategies to prevent, accelerate or create new horizons, this is a human trait This to say despite all the predictions around, we don't know where we will head to in 10 years or reach ultimately so that makes everyday a new day of mystery & wonder where we can feel joy and upset, excitement and sorrow, everything and nothing Everything I just said may not be right and I myself keep learning everyday but Sustainability is worth giving it some fights So yes I like that advice; keep writing, keep doing, keep giving all you have in the guts and try to enjoy every moment my friend PS: i am sorry, i didnt expect it to post it in 6 comments
Edyson Dos Santos, à 14:25 le 9 mars The best way not to forget is to practice... I am not stating a truth, I am not a fan of "truths". That is humbly what I have learned through the different paths I've taken. And practice is also the best way I have learned to share and engage. I wish you practice. Small practices, big practices, it does not matter as soon as you don't follow your talk with your walk, but more importantly, your walk becomes your talk. Not easy to reach, it requires practice :) A lot of it... Love tons, Dey
Com enter m
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue reading from where you left off, or restart the preview.