Please excuse the future tense- I definitely started writing this the night before the protest and, through the miracle that is handling technology while operating a manufacturing business, this little treat is only making its way to you a couple of days late.
No Climate Strike for me. Nobody at Zimt will be going, actually, though that doesn’t mean that we don’t believe it its value.
However, it is that value that I struggle with- and it is why I am not prioritizing attending. Maybe that’s the wrong decision, but when I step back and look at the day ahead, and what is on the to do list- I think about why those things are on the to do list.
It’s pretty average- basically, doing the same thing that we’ve been doing for almost a decade. Make great chocolate, supply to our customers, grow the business to be more interesting, intriguing, delightful for you all- and, through that, generate funds for those who need it most. Doing our own little part to make organic and vegan and ethical more palatable.
So, it is business as usual. And I’m proud of that- because, our business as usual, is a good business as usual. And I want our business as usual, to serve not only as a means to a bottom line, but a means to a strong triple bottom line. That includes caring for our planet and its inhabitants.
I’ve been to many protests. I’ve never seen one quite this big and global, I don’t think. I think it is so valuable for people to want to see change happen- because, we need change.
Look. Me. At a protest in 2008, by the looks of it. I'm holding a sign that is part of a 'Eating Meat Is Like Driving A Hummer'. We were onto something... too early. (But also, not early enough!). I am wearing a hemp jacket. : )
But, I have also seen the results of many protests. People go, feel like a part of something… greater (and indeed, they are), like they are having their voice heard, like they are making a difference.
I’ve seen the results of many protests- and they rarely seem to accomplish what everybody wants. Maybe this one will be different- I hope.
What I’ve found, though is- results are not easy to come by. If you want results, you have to be strategic. You cannot expect overnight success, and you cannot expect somebody else to do it for you. You cannot expect anybody else to do it for you. Those in power, least of all- they’ve had every opportunity imaginable to do the right thing on their own volition. Hold them accountable, as much as you can, but above all, hold yourself accountable. Learn about what makes a positive difference- do those things. The heart breaking realities of human influenced climate change are, that unless enough people are dedicated to making a positive lifestyle change, we won’t make it. And, I see how relying on the government to police those who will not make these changes on their own accord is extremely attractive- it could even work.
But, the issue here is really addiction.
Those in power are addicted to power, to money, to influence, to comfort. They don’t want to give that up, and there are enough of us out there not wanting to make them do so.
Because, how do they get there?
Through us. Because, we’re also addicted. We’re addicted to comfort. We’re addicted to ease. We’re addicted to doing things in the cheapest, easiest, most convenient way possible but you know what? That has dire consequences- we are seeing this now. We haven’t thought our actions through.
It hasn’t been so long, that comfort has been so easily attainable, for so many of us. Comfort, through innovation. Comfort, when exploited, results in what we are fighting against now.
So, I hope that today, you are inspired to move forward in a little discomfort. Discomfort is a great sign of change- it isn’t the instant gratification that we have come to expect, but, it creates something much more valuable than that. This kind of discomfort could really create a much better world. And if nothing else, you’ll be able to look those who are suffering in the eye and tell them you did your very best.