The Malta Independent 23 July 2019, Tuesday

People power, empowerment and unselfishness

Camilla Appelgren Tuesday, 26 March 2019, 07:57 Last update: about 5 months ago

The storm is over and we have repaired the damages caused by it. We all went back to our lives and many will claim that it wasn’t too bad - I mean, we all survived, right? We should stop moaning and be happy for what we have, others say.

Yes, that is very true and I always try my best to keep that at mind to be able to see things in a positive manner. We should appreciate what we have, but we shouldn’t at any time forget that we also have an obligation as active citizens to protect what we have and make sure we improve our standard of living.

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I am struggling to settle with the fact that we at times have to choose between plague and cholera and, worst of all, that we seem to be just fine with those options way too often. We keep on choosing one of the two and many will not for a second stand up and say “Hey, this is not right! I don’t want to choose one of them for the sake of it. I deserve better!”

I will never agree that siding with plague or cholera justifies the decision itself, especially when the endorsement of that stand creates a bigger mess.

Today’s society is getting more and more stressful and people don’t have time to stop and reflect. In too many cases this is being used against us and greenwashing is taking over faster very easily.

We are so stressed that we have stopped looking at things from a critical perspective - we are prioritizing time-wise. If a person is selling environment-friendly products, why should I spend time on checking the facts before buying? I would, understandably, take for granted that the person who loves the environment would know the facts and sell what he or she believes in. Well, that is how it would be in the perfect world. In our world I’m afraid that money rules and it will at times make people take other paths than the honest one. In some cases it simply is that they aren’t aware of the fact that they are doing something that causes harm in the long run. The whole situation with greenwashing is complex and we all are part of the issue when we don’t do our homework.

The root cause is that humans have nearly lost the ability to understand that we are all connected, not only the human beings but everyone and anything in the world. We are one big eco-system, every single little action will have an effect on someone or something else. Just because we don’t see the connection in full, it doesn’t mean it’s not there. We just need to be very humble and understand the impact we have and also make sure we keep sustainability at the core of every decision taken. It’s hard to start with, I know, but once we start getting used to putting our needs second and the needs of the commons first I can guarantee you that it gets easier.

Balloon releases - yes I understand the fun in it and I understand that children like it. If we, however, take into consideration the long-term damage they make, how much fun is it then? Why do we still have well-informed top politicians defending such practices? Isn’t it time that we demand good practices from the top and down, as much as we demand the citizens to do their part?

We are literally playing with fire at the moment and if we don’t tackle the root cause as soon as possible the fires will keep on burning, the people will get exhausted and then we would reach a state we don’t even want to think about.

We can’t keep on cheering only for the firefighters who put out the fires, we also have to cheer and encourage the ones solving the underlying issues and fighting the wrongdoings that sometimes leads up to the incidents.

So as citizens, I urge you and will do my best to empower you to become an aware consumer and resident. Don’t believe everything you hear and see - if it sounds too good to be true it most likely is.

While you do the research you also learn a lot, so when you discover that something is genuine you won’t have lost time. You have instead empowered yourself with knowledge!

The power has, is and will always be with the people -  people just have to realise this basic fact and understand their rights and responsibilities.

Change has always started from one thought by one person. Underestimating this will always put our lives in the hands of others.

You are the change you want to see, now go out and practice that in every step you take!

Camilla Appelgren is a candidate for the Partit Demokratiku in the EP election

 

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