Habits

“We in the Northeast have access to much, and yet experience little”, my high school intern shared with me one day. The following day, his sister said, “people don’t realize that your cell phone could have a hand in killing someone”. These fascinating students are originally from the Congo.

Why bring up the context of conflict minerals in a post about habits? Because not only do both of my interns have philosophic points that deserve reflection, but more broadly, when did we as a society stop thinking consciously about the things we buy and start mindlessly consuming?

***

Today, our world is global and local in context. The reality that many of our possessions come from miles away, is not a new concept.

Once social change begins, it cannot be reversed. You cannot un-educate the person who has learned to read. You cannot humiliate the person who feels pride. You cannot oppress the people who are not afraid anymore.
Cesar Chavez Address to the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco, Nov. 9, 1984

Last month, a new video went viral, “The Story of Change”. As Annie Leonard has released her new call-to action video, change maker- Chavez reminds us that all it takes is a beginning. Do not be overwhelmed. Take one step. Commit to breaking, or instilling, one new habit: buying fairly produced coffee or tea; walking more and driving less; responding to action alerts on the behalf of vulnerable communities.

For it is truly in beginning that we progress.

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