What We’re Barely Fighting For

When people talk about the idea of world peace they’re usually referencing a larger picture involving territorial or religious conflict, and while it’s important to be aware of injustice anywhere, there will always be more injustices in the world than we can help or be involved with. So sometimes it’s better to think local where actions more readily become visible results.

Most of us don’t surround ourselves with jerks, or consider ourselves one for that matter, so given a choice I feel like most rational people with a sense of compassion would make the choice to help injustice in exchange for a modest sacrifice. And many of the actions that otherwise good people perform could, on some small but worthwhile level, help the world out with a change of the smallest amends.

If people were aware and had a choice to pay 20% more for something like, say, an iPod, and know that it was not made under gruesome conditions across the world, most would. And even though this isn’t a choice thanks to a free market capitalist world, there’s still the fact most people aren’t aware of the possibility, or the problem for the matter. Similarly with meat, most people who are good, compassionate people eat meat regularly. I sure do! But I feel awful about the factory farm conditions that allows for us to have meat so available. I obviously don’t speak for everyone, but I’d be happy to pay more for meat and eat a little less to know the animals lived (slightly?) better lives up until becoming lunch. And I make light of the situation even now, but I do think if most people knew the whole of the situation and had an alternative, they would contribute.

Electronics and meat (which sound great actually) are just the first two issues to pop into my mind, and I’m sure there’s many more but part of the idea here was this to be a manageable starting point for making the world a better place so let’s not get too deep right now. Some of these changes would involve large-scale business practices and some political progress, both of which are…unlikely. But at the most modest level we can always do our part by trying to educate ourselves about the impact of what we do and make sure no one is getting the shaft, cleaning up after ourselves, not taking up more of things than we need like space and attention, and really just generally not being a jerk.

Though our generation has been described many different ways, there is no doubt we are passionate about a sense of justice in the world. So let’s do what we can to make the world a better place without working very hard it at.