Time to stand up for our beliefs
By: By Sheelagh Matthews
| Posted: Wednesday, Oct 02, 2013 08:48 am
October is the month we give thanks, at least it is in our part of the world. That said, Iíd like to give thanks to John Grisham, author of many a New York Times bestselling legal thriller.
I just finished his book, The Appeal, a story about how corporate interests are the real power behind government. As I closed the cover and tried to deal with the storyís ending, I found I had a lot to mull over. It soon became apparent John Grisham had confided in me a very big secret ó one that is sort of like the secret of life.
This secret, this big thing, is openly discussed in biology classes, although perhaps not in so many words. The biologists refer to this secret as entropy, a concept, put simply, suggests everything will naturally revert to disorder.
A classic example of entropy can be found in my kitchen. Trust me, if I donít get in there and clean up the dirty dishes after breakfast, lunch and supper, thereís going to be a whole swack of entropy going on. If you were to look at my poor excuse for my rather neglected flower garden, youíd see a whole bunch of entropy going on there, too. My husbandís best friend, Ernie, who, I am sad to say, left our Earth plane a few years ago, had a witty way with words that you couldnít help but love. He understood how I was challenged by both gardening and housework. On really bad days you could almost watch the disorder in action, like watching paint dry.
One day Ernie showed up all smiles as he handed me a garden sign that he claimed was perfect for me. It called out, ďMy house may be a mess, but you should see my garden.Ē I give a nod to Ernie every time I see these words peeking out from amongst the weeds.
My point on all this, to bring us back to John Grisham and his book, The Appeal, is that I finally figured out that we have to speak up and take action if we want to preserve the things we value. Like clean water, like national parks, like unfettered Internet access.
Corporations have long been blamed for controlling governments, but I am beginning to realize that they are only doing what is natural for them to do in their fight against entropy. Personally, I donít know of any shareholders who would like to see their investment go to rack and ruin thanks to the natural laws of disorder. Thatís why I am also beginning to understand why CEOs the world over take their jobs of protecting and growing their investorsí money seriously.
This is where you and I come in, because we, the people, are not doing our share. We are not leveling the playing field. We are not sending in applications to, say, leave the national parks alone, or to not drill for something, or to not put unwanted additives into our foods and textiles. No, we sit back and complain when a corporation applies to do something that goes against our values or wants. But, I ask you, when do we get out there and remind our decision makers what it is we want, what we really, really want? Itís our job as citizens and consumers to make sure our desires are getting attention and stay top of mind, too.
Let me give you a few more examples. If we donít want hormone-disrupting phthalates in our shampoos, deodorants and body lotions, then we have to tell someone in authority about this desire. If we donít want nanosilver particles and their bacteria-killing properties to mess up our wastewater treatment processes and environment, then we have to tell somebody old-fashioned socks of wool or cotton are good enough. Did you know nanoparticles of silver are added to some brands of socks to make them anti-odourous? And then these particles are released when the socks are laundered.
Not only is this October about thanks, itís also about municipal elections. Speaking up and taking action to avert disorder by making our citizen and consumer wishes perfectly clear to all politicians and elected officials ónow thatís in our best interest.