But that's not what this post is about. This is about the choices we make every day to shape our lives and our world. We cast a ballot every time we commit to an appointment and every time we swipe our debit card. We choose to support Starbucks and the dentist and kids' soccer and fossil fuels, to save a couple bucks by shopping at unethical discount stores or to buy a pastry from a racist because, come on, he makes good pastries. We buy that Christmas junk -- that's why they put it there for us -- we voted for it.
I read too much news yesterday, and I was getting more and more pissed off the longer I read. I had to tell myself to stop investing time into this shallow source of information that doesn't tell the whole story, and certainly not draw any conclusions without researching further. I did come out with refreshed indignation at Nestle. I'm ashamed to admit that, although I've know about their unethical practices for years, I haven't boycotted their brands very well. I mean, come on -- Skinny Cow is awesome, and have you ever tasted an After Eight dark chocolate mint? But it's not OK with me anymore. Now they're seeing an impending water crisis, and they're trying to buy up water rights now, before too many people notice, so they can sell it back to us when the drought causes our tap water quality to drop. It's coming, and we're choosing not to think about it. We've already voted for bottled water with so many purchases that Nestle is confident we'll elect them our water source, no matter how much they charge or what plastic they use.
Time to wake up, boys and girls. Corporations are beasts created for one thing -- making money. They don't have moral compasses or yucky feelings about anything or embarrassment when they screw over millions of people. Nestle doesn't care that the cacao beans it buys come from Ivory Coast farms that buy children for as little as $30 each to use as slave labor. They don't care that the contaminated infant formula they sold in third world countries made millions of babies sick and killed hundreds. That's not their business. A board room with a handful of money strategists can make a decision that impacts a billion people, and we just let them. Those board members don't answer to society -- they answer to shareholders, who only want to see the money.
How about instead of watching the entertainment version of the news, we take a few minutes to Google some of the companies we're supporting with our dollars and get the whole story? How about we do the same with our presidential candidates? How about we take advantage of this amazing internet tool we have, and remember that education is power and it doesn't have to cost anything or come from a classroom? How about we remember that every appointment, every hour at work, every dollar is a vote. (Careful - every website we visit is also a vote!)
What kind of future are you voting for?