The big philosophical question which I admittedly only recently learned about because of The Good Place, but it is still poignant – What do we owe to each other? We’re all lucky enough to be cohabiting on this random spinning ball of life in the middle of infinite space. Regardless of why you think we’re here in the first place or who/what put us here, the fact is we are here and each of us should address how we want to treat others and how we want to be treated.
When I think about what I owe to the world, I think about how I don’t usually look further than the people and issues that directly touch on me in my everyday life. At university, I really began to feel a need to open up to the bigger picture and think about what I can do for others. My aim was to just stop shutting myself off from everything that doesn’t immediately affect me. Now I am by no means a perfect individual or would ever dream of claiming to be one and so the topics I list below are based on my decisions at this point in my life. Your views might align with mine and they might not, I’m perfectly okay with that and you should be too.
Us millennial are famously strapped for cash, and as much as we wish we could give and give all the time, we still need to finance our own lives and avocado addiction, so it’s just not always viable. But that doesn’t mean we can’t give in other ways.
1)Every town has charity shops that are always in desperate need of volunteers if you can sacrifice a few hours or so in a week then this is a great way to engage with others.
2)You can sign up to monthly donations to almost any given charity, so you can find one that is close to your heart and support it. It’ll take payment directly out of your account every month so you don’t need to faff around with coins Which let’s be real, none of us really carry anymore.
3)A quick google search will also show you a million and one opportunities to raise money, be it taking part in marathons or bungee jumping – there is a lot that you can do. Without a doubt, some of my best memories in life have come from the times where I’ve taken on an adventure to raise money for charities, so in a way, I got a lot out of it as well and I really recommend.
Please don’t roll your eyes just yet. Yes, for me, thinking about the wider world covers the way we treat animals. I personally grew up as a vegetarian and never had meat until I was a teenager so my normal is being vegetarian and then when I read and hear about the animal cruelty in the meat industry, it does reaffirm my decision.
But honestly, I just love vegetarian food, so the transition back was very smooth. That being said, I don’t doubt for a minute that for born and raised meat-eaters it is a hard journey because I currently find trying to reduce all animal products a hard journey, so seriously no judgment here. I think some effort is always better than none.
But even if you just don’t want to stop eating meat, then there are still other ways to be conscious of what cruelties are subjected towards animals. For example, watch out you don’t buy cosmetic products that are tested on animals. And of course, there’s the most obvious of things, which is not wearing clothing made from animals. I mean in all seriousness, who actually needs a fur coat? the faux fur is perfectly fine.
Now I won’t even try to pretend I am some kind of expert on the science of what is happening to the world but one thing is undeniably apparent, and that is the world is looking so much worse for wear thanks to humanity. And no, Donald Trump is very wrong, China did not create global warming. It’s a very real thing happening.
There are so many individual things we can do to improve this:
- Save water
- Cycle to work
- Avoid single-use plastics
- Grow your own food
- And so forth…
There are endless suggestions as to what changes each of us can take on board in our everyday lives, so why not find a few you can do.
But ultimately decisions need to be made on a governmental and global level for real change to happen because it is corporate greed that is causing the most havoc, not you and I.
The first time I could vote I gave my vote to the Green Party. Not because of a deluded belief that I thought they could legitimately get elected. But because I wanted to cast my vote with the policies I truly believe need to take priority.
My hope is that the more people show that they care about these issues then the more likely major parties like Tories and Labour will take the hint and feel it necessary to adapt their own policies to accommodate for what the public want. Whether we want to acknowledge it now, sooner or later these environmental issues are going to be extremely pressing on everyone’s mind. I just hope it’s sooner because I want our beautiful planet to still be beautiful in generations to come.
Politics is my obsession nowadays but I remember a time when I couldn’t care less. When I started to grow up I realised just how incredibly important these systems are to how we all understand and comprehend the world and others in it. The lack of young people interested or partaking in politics makes sense to me because nothing really entices us to pay any interest to it at school or even in the media. But this massively needs to change, because it is us and our children who have to live with the consequences of these decisions. Your vote is your democratic right, don’t be a bystander, use it.
Additionally, social politics is everywhere right now and yes it’s daunting and quite confusing sometimes. But the way I see it is, what I owe to others is to take a step back. Instead of trying to dominate issues of race, religion, and culture from a position of privilege, power, and fear. We should be standing back, listening to those whose voices need to be heard. Let them lead their own discourse and let us follow and support and for once not control.
Although it’s tempting and very doable to go through life not caring or giving any issue that isn’t directly related to your life a second thought, I don’t want to live like that. I’m not going to sit by waiting for something to happen in my little bubble to make me change, the least I or anyone else should be is, aware.
I want to care because I believe caring is what we owe to each other.
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