when i was a child, nobody lived responsibly. i’m not just talking about the three martinis and a cigarette routinely consumed by pregnant women. or throwing the mcdonald’s bag out to the curb. or disposable diapers. or raking the leaves and burning them on the front lawn. plenty of people were opposed to equal rights for women and even african americans, and the notion of gay marriage? uh, no.
we watched movies in social studies classes about the dangers of littering and smoking. then there were boycotts organized against california grapes (out of concern for migrant workers), hershey’s (they sent formula to third world countries which, when mixed with bad water, would hurt children), and different states that wouldn’t pass the equal rights amendment. celebrities came out of the closet and we learned a new vocabulary of tolerance.
i met f2fb #192 jason glaser as a complete fluke. he divides his time between new york, chicago, sometimes europe and a lot of time in nicaragua. he is working on behalf of workers at sugar cane farms who are developing kidney disease at an alarming rate, possibly because of poor workplace practices. jason had a lot to say about why i shouldn’t eat bananas.
jason also has some concerns about anything that is based on sugar cane.
i try my best, but i think that it’s hard to keep track of what i can do and what i should do. jason is an admirable friend because he does what should be done. you can talk to him yourself about how to help the workers in nicaragua — firstname.lastname@example.org–he’s been involved in lawsuits targeting the big united states corporations that bring us bananas and that has put himself in danger. he has sometimes wondered about having some protection and i volunteered to be his body guard, but in the end, he knows that if a company really wants to bring him down, it will.
one of my friends zeeb peterson and his wife beth rosemarie live in a manner that takes very little from the earth and returns much–most of their artwork and furniture is made from found objects and they couldn’t help looking around my yard for things that would be workable. i think that’s the best kind of recycling and responsibility. i saw them this week. i hadn’t seen zeeb for many years–it was a high school reunion!