Sunday, 30 September 2012

Are we true activists in our daily life?

I met many people in my work all over the world that are promoting, working and claiming similar principles, values and mission as me. We are many involved in making a more just world, more clean and sustainable, more tolerant and intercultural, more fair and equal for all people in the world, more transparent and more ethical, etc.

Working in international field is always a pleasure to discover how many people out there work in same direction as I do and very often I feel that we are making a difference and our efforts (even if separate) are having impact among many people.

In the same time I face dilemmas of what I call the honestly and true integrity of what are we doing/practicing in our life- do we really walk the talk?

 We talk about sustainability, environmental problems – and make concrete proposal for high level official on what to do in this sense BUT
  • We take a plastic/paper cup instead of a glass one when we have our coffee/tea!
  • We don’t cheek if what and where we throw in the garbage is/can be recycled!
  • We don’t use the paper on both sides when we take notes in conference and we don’t finish our book notes!
  • We don’t cheek much about the brands we are consuming, buying and their impact around the world!
  • We forget lights on, TV or computers in stand-by, or charges plugged constantly etc. during events/projects or in our house!
  • In our projects we print lots of papers (often only on one side), brochures, booklets and make sure we have more than enough always!
  • We travel so much by plain-became a reflex (even for shorter rides that could be done by trains)!
  • We use the elevators up and down for just few floors
  • Do we really know what Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle means before promoting for others to do?

We talk about food shortage in the world, about strategies to fight hunger and high prices on food BUT
  • We leave food on our plates (even if we decided what and how much to put on our plates)!
  • We have our meetings in manny stars hotels with luxury conditions!

We talk about equality, tolerance, human rights, representation, and how to make people voice of all backgrounds heard BUT
  • We don’t have patience in our own meetings to listen to each other (with different accents, language ability, etc)!
  • We don’t make sure language differences or constrains are being respected/facilitated!
  • We already think about what our reply will be from the middle or beginning of what the other person is talking!
  • We talk about equality in general but in certain limits in our own contexts where our prejudices are strong!
  • Who do we really take/invite/have in our meetings when we talk about global issues?

For me observing these aspects is interesting, puzzling and sad and very often when I did open the discussion with the people around me about it most of the time I end up looking at patronizing, smug, condescending and irritating person.

I think that for most of us will be hard to accept that indeed, this acts reflects a lack of integrity and true internalization of the principles we promote but in the same time I think if we do lie to ourselves, if we do act like blinds to our own life, if we don’t start from ourselves is rather ironic to claim big, structural changes from big actors, and others. 

How do we end up claiming changes from structures which are actually ruled and managed by people?
In fact we do want changes from people (even if strangely we are not truly aware of it) and we should be the model, example of what kind of changes we aim for!

If everything we believe in will be reflected through all the things we do our message will be powerful, real and truly inspirational. 

Therefore what kind of activist are you in your daily life?

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