Hope?

So is it still possible? Climate change legislation that will actually make a difference? Organic foods that everyone can afford? Safer everyday products for our children that don't leach random chemicals into their tiny systems? I have to admit, I have had a difficult time this summer with the unravelling of our country (hence my delay in blogging). I have been in despair about the increased tensions stirring between races, classes, and neighbors, and I have been uncertain about the outlook for our children's future. But, I also know that there are good people still fighting for good causes, public officials still working for those without a voice, honest companies still making quality products. I have to believe that the needs of people and planet will rise above profit... someday, or just what kind of world are we leaving to our children?

When I reflected on Senator Ted Kennedy's passing this past week, and mourned the loss of a great leader, I knew that with all that he accomplished to help those in need, there do exist those leaders who will put people before profit and our children before Corporate America. Kennedy told delegates in a speech at the 1980 Democratic National Convention, "The commitment I seek is not to outworn views but to old values that will never wear out. Programs may sometimes become obsolete, but the ideal of fairness always endures. Circumstances may change, but the work of compassion must continue. It is surely correct that we cannot solve problems by throwing money at them, but it is also correct that we dare not throw out our national problems onto a scrap heap of inattention and indifference."

So, the question remains if we as a society have enough energy to make sure that fairness endures? That the work of compassion continues? And, if our leaders will follow suit?  But, I know this, we have to keep talking and sharing information and demanding a better environment for our children. We must remind those that have become tense that we all are on the same page when it comes to clean air and water, safe food and products, justice and compassion for all. And, honestly, at the end of the day if we are healthy and fed and loved, does much else matter? We can make a difference with the food we eat, the energy we consume, and the products we buy as consumers. We can't be indifferent to that. We can't turn a blind eye and think that someone else will take care of it for us, or that someone else has our best interest at heart. The corporate giants sure don't. Why would they share with you something that would make you doubt their product or process? Why would the coal company want you to know that mountain top mining creates huge amounts of waste that is infiltrating neighboring communities? Why would anyone argue that less carbon emissions is a bad thing? And, why would Monsato claim that organic foods are better? All because it is not in their interest (bottom dollar) to do so. When you hear a news story or read a safety insert or review a scientific study just published, ask who is behind the curtains, who funded the research, are they revealing everything?

We all don't have time to be so critical in our daily lives, or to speak out against injustices like Ted Kennedy, or to research the behind-the-scenes making of your latest industry claim. But, we can be watchful and open and willing to listen to both sides of a story.  So, my hope lies in those of us who seek the truth and not just listen to the media and political pundits that claim to be seeking the truth. My hope lies in the promise that we will leave our world in a better place than it is right now. I have to have hope, I have a family to feed and love and keep healthy. 

Angela Malson