Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The Grateful Dead

No, not the band.

I was being very smart and making an allegory - sometimes I can be very witty and think up creative titles. Why I can't do it for my papers or for a username or whatever else, I don't know. I suppose my creativity is unleashed or something.

I'll tell you what, it is nice to just type to get my thoughts out and not have to write a paper or in a spiritual journal or do some type of reflection or assignment. I like just writing and as I said in my first post, although I don't get into things that are too personal on here, they are personal enough that I feel better when I'm done typing. These posts are just what's been going through my mind, and you all (if anyone besides Tony even reads this...heh) get a glimpse into my life and my thoughts, which I think is cool.

So yeah. The grateful dead. 

I've been thinking a lot about gratitude, and there was even a question on my MTEL (teaching test for Massachusetts). I am a firm believer in being grateful for what you have, because there is always someone much worse in the world. I don't say this to make anyone feel bad, although it's usually used on small children to help them be empathetic. That's fine, I guess, but I use it with the purpose of spreading awareness and understanding that there are people who fight to live every single day. There are people dying from hunger, from pollution, from terrible working conditions - daily. I don't know about you, but it absolutely appals me. 

But what gets me is that a lot of the time, their terrible working conditions, poverty, and hunger are caused bu us. What? You may ask. No way.  

Yes way. Not in all cases, of course. Some countries are just terribly impoverished due to a number of factors: corrupt politicians, a lack of monetary aid, the climate surrounding the country, and so on. These are all factors that go into poverty, starvation, and disease, and many major countries take advantage of this and tell the leader of a poor country "Hey, we'll give you this money if you give us some land and let us build a factory (plantation, etc) and employ your people." It sounds great, but works terribly. The only reason they move to a third world country is because it's cheaper than having a factory here. And people complain about not enough American goods! So usually the governments will take the land away from either farmers or indigenous people who have had it for thousands of years, thrusting them into desperation as the land was their source of livelihood, and then they are forced to work at the American factories or other sources of industry for terrible pay and living conditions. 

And usually their lives are worse than they were before. It's easy for us to exploit people when all they are to us is a source of income. 

So here I am, in my house, eating my food, wearing my clothes, and it's hard not to think of the people who might be starving or wearing rags to give me what I have. It's depressing, really, and I'm not sure what to do about it. Practically everything I wear and eat at my house isn't fair trade (except for my coffee) and it's really hard. I don't know. It's just difficult to live with the knowledge of what really goes on in the world, and I don't know how people do it. 
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