Actually, I have a real problem with our society in general. The way people are typecast into these stupid little roles, and if you break out of them you're seen as such a rebel. But capitalism, although it has been pretty good to me, is a big pet peeve of mine. It's on my mind because I went to Fresh Fields today and these two well-dressed, middle-aged men were handing out fliers that said that if Fresh Fields was willing to pay five cents more per pint of strawberries, it would increase the berry-pickers' wages by 50 percent. Woah. I would certainly be willing to shell out 5 more cents per pint of my hard-earned cash to help people out. In fact, I'd be willing to pay a hell of a lot more than five cents to raise those people's salaries. What kind of world do we live in when corporations are so tight-fisted that they won't give up one skosh of their huge profits to help the very people who provide them with the goods that earn them those profits? I'm sick of it. (To learn more about the strawberry workers, see the United Farm Workers webpage.)
Anyway, capitalist society teaches people that greed is the way to go. Squeeze every drop of profit out of everything possible, then get rid of it. Only support the community if it will help your public image. It makes me retch. People used to be shocked when a toxic waste dump was found; now people are so jaded that it's become almost normal. Excuse me, but I don't want to die from a tumor because some company illegally dumped toxic waste in my back yard. Sorry, that just does not sound like a jolly good time to me. Yeesh.
Anyway, I'm not going to turn all political on you and say "vote for the Green Party" or anything like that. In fact, I can't even vote yet. But still, there's gotta be something we can do. Technically, the USA is a democracy, so we as citizens (sorry for all you international folks) should be able to change stuff. I know writing to my congressman is pretty much a load of bullshit, and running for office is out of the question. I guess the way to fight for what you believe in, as a private citizen, is to make wise consumer choices. I'm not going to stop shopping at Fresh Fields, but I've written them a letter (they have this handy little pad for that purpose right by the exit) and i'll keep writing letters until they change what I want them to change. The customer is not always right, but we do pay their salaries. If a store manager-type person doesn't listen to you, or says they can't get something you want, they are lazy and/or lying. Don't settle. We don't have much voice, but we should use what we have. As Andy Dufresne tells Red in The Shawshank Redemption, we have two choices: Get busy living, or get busy dying.
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