glass_half_full1

Well no, probably not, but I do have a few things to say on the subject, and I would be interested to hear if others had come to similar conclusions. As this is the first actual posting here on PM, I would like it to shine as a fabulous example of the sort of rubbish that we will all hopefully be waffling on about in the near future.

Too often I hear people using the word realism as an excuse for a lack of motivation. As a sort of buffer between their ideals and their actions. I worry that this type of attitude could have grave consequences for us, for the planet, for business, for everything really.

Realism, as far as I know used to be about awareness. About taking stock of your limitations, and endeavouring to do your very best, like a good cub scout. It was the sensible man’s way of approaching problems, and the most productive form of conducting your business. Rationally and honestly. So why now, when engaged in conversation do I get accused of being an idealist for thinking that my actions as a (hopefully) moral being, on an individual level, can make a significant difference?

One of the many counter arguments I am generally bombarded with when people find out that I am a vegan, is that: “It will never be the case that everyone stops eating meat/ dairy etc. So what do your actions change? What is the point?” I myself was once guilty of subscribing to this (in my opinion) very flawed method of thought. For me it fails to take into account a lot of relatively elementary truths. For instance: Even if my action results in the most minute reduction in demand for these products, there might just be one poor likkle lamb out there who is spared. Not a great deal of difference in the grand scheme of things, but to that same poor likkle lamb, it has meant everything. That to me is significant.

That is not to mention my other issue with this new wave of pseudo-realism. If someone deems an action to be “right” according to their moral compass, but decides not to act on this understanding on the basis that they are the tiny minority, how does humanity ever progress? How do we innovate? How do we come up with original thought? How do we right injustices which have been taking place since the beginning of civilisation? We don’t. We are afraid. We could all be thinking the same thing, but all be waiting for our views to become the accepted norm before we act on them, but it never comes to pass! It is completely self defeating. Not in keeping with the spirit of realism.

It takes a multitude of pioneering individuals (Or failing that, a counter culture of hipsters, but with some things, I am willing to make that concession!) to enact change. My question is this: Why do we all wait for someone else to build the bandwagon before we jump on it? I fear that we as a species are at risk of coming to a standstill, at a time where if we hope to survive, we ought to be moving faster than ever.

What do you reckon?

(As a slight addendum; let us not turn this into a debate about the merits or lack thereof of a vegan/ veggie diet. That is as inevitable as  the sighs it will illicit from all involved when it does come. We have all been there, and so at least for now, let us avoid it like I avoid KFC. Ta.)

Advertisements