Thursday, 26 March 2015

SA AoC group reflects on freedom. Observatory CT SA 22 March 2015

1) I think that education is very important for creating awareness of the world.  If you teach people to care and love and heal, then you will get people who want to do things for good reasons.  People are not superior to each other, the animals or the earth.  By destroying our world you also destroy people.  If the trees are gone, then people will not be able to breathe.  If the water is polluted we cannot drink.  Our needs are connected to the earth.  People have been telling each other that we don't need the earth.  I think it is time to accept that we do need the earth.  We need it to live.  Once we accept that it will make an important difference.  People need our Mother Earth to nurture us and teach us and we need to love and nurture her too.  (Danny)

2) My thoughts at the moment are about what I need vs what I'd like to have (or even what I think I might like to have).  Realizing how sacred mountains can be mined, and rivers diverted, livelihoods threatened and cultures and identities broken down, for coal which benefits only a few people makes we question how we live.  What do I actually need, what do I sometimes find more convenient, and what is adding to or making problems?  We need water but we don't need the dyes and chemicals that get added.  I wonder about the choices I've made, and the ones I would have made differently if I had been able to see more holistically.  I'm also seeing how human and environmental rights are very intertwined (nicci)

3)  There's such value in positive re-inforcement as opposed to horror stories and scare tactics.  This work is healing work.  It's healing the broken hope.  It heals the guilty conscience and warms our hearts to positive change.  No matter how slow, it is still a change in the right direction.  If everything that is in the world was just originally dreams or ideas then repairing, reducing and caring are also ideas in my head that could oneday become a reality.

Sunday, 1 March 2015

SA AoC at Two Rivers Ocean Park Cape Town 28 February 2015

Today, we spoke about freedom.  These are our reflections:

People don't really have the freedom to knowledge.  Businesses often don't tell all of the information about a product, because they know that what they are doing is not ethical or good.  But then people will buy their product or service, and themselves become unethical, even without their knowledge.  Often businesses don't admit these things because then people won't buy their stuff.  This means that people will not often want to support groups that survive at others' expense. (For example, people often don't know that clothes are made in sweat shops or products are tested on animals).   Basically, businesses lie to the public to get what they want, which I think is extremely wrong.  People should not be supporting bad causes without knowing it.

I love willow trees, I love how they look like they have long thin arms which are reaching out, or maybe they just have long hair.  (Danny).

Not everyone or every living creature has the right to be free.  Freedom is something we should enjoy, and not take advantage of.  Not everyone has freedom.  Those who have should treasure it.  Some people have to fight to be free, while others get it handed to them on a silver platter.  Don't take advantage of something so special, that not everyone has the right to.  Living creatures do not have the right to anything.  Trees are cut down without even a thought.  They are killed without consent.

We need to protect this world we live in because one day it might not be here anymore.  We should protect things while there is still a chance for survival, and not when it is too late.  (Raeesa).

Can the aspect of freedom not only relate to human beings, but plants and animals as well?  We speak of freedom, and of how we are free as human beings, but how free are we?  Our freedom is restricted, and limits one to be seen as conventional.  Why can't we have a variety and difference in our lives instead of living in a black and white world of conformity?  We relate freedom to human beings, but freedom can as well be applied to animals and plants.  Even though plants cannot speak the human language, they can emit vibrations.  Why can't plants and trees be as they are?  Environmental rights of animals and plants matter too.  Even though animals do not speak English, they do have their own language that humans may not understand.  If humans invade their habitat, they do communicate, and should have the right to freedom as well (Lauren).

How do we live well, rather than living rich?  How did we learn to believe we should live rich?  Capitalism speaks about creating a need, and it did create a need by taking people out of sustainable life, and from family, and forcing people to work and leave home to do things like work in the mines.

The system was set up to benefit few and create consumers rather than connected people.  We should have freedom to be, rather than have to prove yourself over and over again as productive and worthy.  Freedom could be about about time to spend in long conversations or exploring your child's perceptions of the world.  Or freedom to eat healthily because food isn't full of toxic chemicals.  I'd like to have freedom from the cruelty of factory farming and freedom to create.  It would be helpful to have freedom from products which damage the environment or other people.  Freedom to disconnect from the idea that real work is connected to power or prestige would be helpful too.  Cooking for a family is nourishing work, and yet people may still be seen as unemployed.  I think we need the freedom to define work as that which brings value or makes a difference.  (Nicci).

Levels of freedom range from being physically imprisoned, to being a wandering nomad.  There is financial freedom, but what is that?  There is also also the importance of freedom from physical threat.  There's the freedom of food, shelter, family and love.  How is it that traditional people had to give up this to enter into a capitalist system to earn money?  In exchange for money, people risk physical safety, proper shelter and healthy food choices.  Sometimes they experienced loss of community and family support.  When people had to travel from their homes to 'the land of opportunity' they crossed imagined borders that turned them into criminals if they didn't have the right (invented) documentation to grant them legal access.

The whole system has been created to make menial and ridiculous jobs and procedures to perpetuate itself, and to protect the very few.  (no name).