Wednesday, 1 October 2014

the 99%

I am part of the 99%.

We are hypocrites.

Oh dear, he's off on a rant.

We protest against fracking in our country, against nuclear weapons in our country, against restrictions of civil liberty in our country. There's a host of things we don't want in our country. And sometimes we raise our voices for things we would like to see happen in our country too.

Which is all well and good - except we are quite happy that the things we don't like happen somewhere else and we can benefit. Did you choke on your tea there? Tell me that nothing in your life has come at someone else's loss.

I don't want fracking due to the general irresponsibly of the process. But I'll still put fuel in our car that could have come from places like Angola and Ghana which are equally beautiful and arguably more at risk of being left severely damaged by the processes of oil extraction, refinement and transport.

I ride an aluminium bike. I ride it a lot rather than taking the car. But then aluminium is one of the most environmentally-damaging metals to mine and refine.

I really don't want nuclear power or weapons, and may choose my energy supplier accordingly, but I still plug in scored of electrical and electronic devices. So there's still a cost.

And no matter your views, let's not start on the perceived oppression of Europe, Westminster or Holyrood. Do you get to leave your house? Do I get to choose who I work for? Do my children have the chance of an education and life expectancy of more than 20 years?

Can I freely and with confidence proclaim that I am a follower of Jesus and I have faith the God can do more than I can ask or imagine? Yup.

I ran for 13.5 miles to STOP HOMELESSNESS. And do I look for ways to stop the causes of homelessness in the other ways I live?

I might make noise about things that I don't like. You may do that too.

But I perhaps today I have my eyes a little wider. And my awareness a little broader. And my longing a little bit fuller.

And I get it. I understand we're not responsible for other people's land. And I'm not for unilateral action and enforcing my world as the only way. And I am not the saviour of the universe. Nor am I the only one who cares about these things.

BUT, if I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal, then I have no love. I have no consideration for the impact of my actions.

Can I raise my voice for local or regional action without being mindful of what impact my actions are having elsewhere.

If I do, I am a hypocrite.

I'm happy for someone else to suffer as long as I don't.

Our desire for cheap goods has made China's economy what it is today. We knew what we were doing (getting more for less). But did we really know what we were doing? (international trade history in two sentences, I think not).

While I hope for a fairer system of government, I might shake my head 

And I write this in a wearied state of mind, and in very stark language. But such is the way of clouded thoughts and tension. 

That's it. We hold this in tension.

I'm part of the 99%. And I would like to see that change.

Wouldn't you?

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