Last year around Christmas I was very sensitive to the exacerbated consumerism promoted around this date. I ended up writing about this nuisance that, especially in December, has been troubling me for the past few years and for some reason it was intensified in London.
Shortly after I published my text “Christmas or Consumerism?”, I saw a post of May East ¹ on Facebook, about an article she wrote for The Guardian, in which she ponders a Christmas which doesn’t make money, but celebrates cultural, spiritual and ecological diversity. She also believes “Turning consumption into the pantomime villain may not be the best way forward, however. According to communications agency Futerra, using guilt or encouraging sacrifice does not change behaviour. The issue is not to discontinue consumption, but to promote a shift from a society of overconsumption of products and services to one based on wellbeing, belonging and sustainable living.”
May East also cited examples “Closer to home, I’ve seen resilient models of celebrating the festive season at work – models which embrace the skills of local growers, producers and small-scale artisans. At the heart of the model lies a celebration of cultural, spiritual and ecological diversity, and the impulse to re-establish local economies in which local needs are met from local sources.”
What do I mean? Reading May East article and thinking about my posts, I realized that I need to be more positive in my texts, less apocalyptic. I do intend to continue supporting my arguments that criticize the lifestyle of our contemporary society, yet being more kind and encouraging.
My posts from my point of view show my indignation at what we are doing to our planet. This feeling is expressed when I mention the failure of human intervention on Earth or would it better to say “our failure to realize that we are part of nature, a cell of Gaia? Paulo Freire believes that we need to observe what is around us, the reality we live in, when doing it so, we should look at it curiously and critically; and if we aren’t happy about it, we should dosomething about it.
But how to write encouraging and gentle texts, when I feel so upset with what I do observe? How? On the one hand I’ve heard more than once that apocalyptic tones do not work in promoting sustainable living, but on the other hand, I know that extreme events cause people to change their habits super-fast.
Maybe to wake up from this deep sleep we fell into, we might need more frights. However, I am opting to not wait for these frights, or extreme events, that have been happening around Earth, I need to keep fighting, believing in education and a better world. I am not happy with what we are doing to our beautiful GAIA that is the reason I am following Paulo Freire advice and fighting for her, in my own way, but I am.
I need to be the change I want to see in the world and knowing that violence can also arise through words, I do not want it to happen through my texts. So from now on, inspired by May East article, I will try to remember about the kind people who inspire me, leaders or not, and be less apocalyptic in my posts and more encouraging.
I also thought about, within the next two months, to creat a new link on my website for school teachers who need ideas to embed sustainability in their lessons. I will translate some ideas of resources from projects which I found in England, making it easier to be used by Brazilian teachers. I would be delighted to receive ideas and suggestions to share. Furthermore, I would love to offer my skills and knowledge in this field and contribute to educators who need a little help in that area.
¹ May East develops international work with the movement of transcultural, sustainability and global ecovillages. Wikipedia
Link of May East Article: http://tinyurl.com/m5y5al6