Tuesday, 28 July 2015

SA AoC Simonstown Reflections 25 July 2015 South Africa

Saturday was terribly cold in Muizenberg, the wind was icy!  So we held AoC conversations here in Simons Town.  I'll send through some photos too.  Next week, we'll hopefully go to Muizenberg beach, if it's a little warmer.

The conversations focused on Andy Fisher's concept of the pains of capitalism, and the way that the system is set up to create a sense of shame.  We also looked at Rollo May's modern day idols:  conformity, apathy, materialism and social hierarchies, and the way they sometimes blind us.

Here are the reflections:

1). How Is it that when so many have become aware of the negative side-effects of climate change, that so much of lifes daily routines remain unchanged?

Motor car sales have increased. And so too the emissions emitted.

Imagine that every car driver on Earth was issued a can of poison gas and told to open it and take it along with them for their daily travels. Imagine, smiling, waving and even hooting and shouting at your fellow drivers in the daily traffic, as your allotted can hisses out its toxins. Imagine going to the office, school, shops, friends and then home, with the can, all the while spilling out its daily allocation of assorted noxious gasses.

Imagine doing this everyday, every month, every year, always...

Now imagine living in a city with your friends, loved ones, children and pets, beautiful animals and plants
..and millions of little gas canisters.

2).  "You're face to face with the man who sold the world."

It upsets me how some people care so much more than others and how they have to work even harder to make up for the arrogance of other people.  I don't understand how people can care more about themselves and their pockets being lined with money than they care about other people.

Some behavior sickens me and makes me feel guilty to be human.  People have done unforgivable things to the earth.

I think many, if not most people want to be good, but society is so twisted and difficult to untangle and correct.  Sometimes I just feel really sad about the situation all people find themselves in.

I think people who care just have to do their best.

3).  I've been thinking about the way we're shown how to focus on what we present to the world.  It's often connected to what we can buy, or how we show ourselves on social media.  And yet I feel most comfortable when I can forget about those things and be with people who connect and share.  It's helped me to shape something new and start to explore it.  And it's helped me to see how imagination can create a sense of solidarity or exploration that includes 'others'.

As we've spoken about the despair we feel at the deaths, extinctions and injustices, I thought about how much the world matters to us, and how we're learning to see beyond the fears, doubts and anxieties consumerism creates, and into something deeper.

We have new fears, but we can see through the manipulation and explore our empathy for the earth.  And that is helpful.