Today I decided I would support one of my crazy friends in his campaign for a change. My friend is doing “No Shoes November”, not wearing shoes for an entire month to raise money for Christian aid and has asked his friends to support him in doing so, to reach his goal of £1000. So today, along the cold dirty streets of Cardiff, I walked and cycled to my lectures, to the library and to the pub – explaining to the world my madness as i hobbled. I am an atheist yet ending poverty must be a hope every individual has and they would do what they can to achieve this goal. Right? Well thats what I thought….
Just like any activist, I have days where I lose hope. Today was one of them. After a weekend of meeting inspirational people at the student activist weekend of “Shared Planet”, I thought this week would be full of new momentum to make the world a better place.
At the moment I am involved with trying to organise environmentalist speakers for a society event, organising a sit-in to get my Uni to join the Workers Rights Consortium, working with the Occupy Cardiff movement so we can spread to the 99% v 1% message, working with Oxfam Cardiff on their “Climate Craftivism” event, working with lecturers to organise a teach-out for November 30th and today I took the opportunity to spread to word about poverty by going barefoot for the day.
I spoke to a few people, most didn’t look past the brave act of not wearing shoes and failed to look at the bigger picture.
Coming home with my weathered feet I learn how Occupy Wall Street is being torn apart, I hear how “Frozen Planet” is shown in many countries throughout the globe but as the latest episode discusses issues around climate change, it wont be shown in the majority of countries. At the pub quiz, when the answer that in 1989 the hole in the ozone layer was discovered, an ignorant loud mouth announced her misinformed view that it was a “myth”. I later switched on “Question Time” where I found people complaining about renewable energy and its appearance, followed by another show which asked whether “people power is getting in the way”. I was deflated.
As I let out steam on my wonderfully laid back housemates, I realised how much they accepted society, how much they were willing to just accept that these emergency issues of climate change, of poverty, of human rights abuses, of inequality, was just part of our world. I was asked why I worry about things that I cant do much about. That was what disappointed me most. Is that what the majority of the population thinks? Do they just accept that the world is not working in the favour of equality? And do they not care enough to even try?
In my anti-capitalist stream of thoughts, I begin to wonder whether individuals have been conditioned to behave in this way. It may not have been so clearly brutal as in Huxleys Brave New World, but the neo-liberal ideology has so powerfully convinced the general public of its consumer, hierarchal system of organisation that individuals don’t know any other way.
So Pessimism can be solved through
I am a poor student who can’t afford the middle class escapist lifestyle and thinks way too much, so activism will have to do. After all, at least Occupy St Pauls campaigners are still there. I will cling on to that ray of hope, and go to bed in peace.
Tomorrow is a new day. Anything can happen. And at least tomorrow I will be wearing shoes.
P.S. Please donate – http://www.justgiving.com/NoShoesNovember