Conscious Living 22: Responsibility and guilt
21. January 2019
Conscious Living 24: Heaven and hell
25. January 2019

Conscious Living 23: Corporations

Money rules the world, they say. In my opinion, it is the big corporations holding the money, that rule the world. The bigger a company, the more loopholes there seem to be. Huge corporations can afford the best lawyers and deter the ordinary citizen from rebelliousness by their huge capital alone. Additionally, they prove over and over again, that a quick profit is far more important than sustainable production for a long period. However, they have forgotten one thing: they are few, we are many.

Whether you have to sue money from an airline for a delay, struggle with the diesel engine of your car or the car dealer of trust “installs” a mistake while repairing your car. Every time this costs nerves and time, is no fun and spoils the day. Besides, the person at the front desk is probably uninvolved in your problem. Letting your anger out on him doesn´t help anyone involved. Those who determine decisions about business alignment, philosophy and approaches usually have nothing to little to do with the end customer. Of course, there are also companies that pay attention to details such as the environment, humanity and compatibility, but the currently largest ones belong to a different category.

How do you defend yourself?

As I said – we are many. A peaceful solution is, that everyone adapts their buying habits. Of course, the jungle of brands, discounters and health food stores is hard to see through and you kind of need a degree in order to deal with the large and small prints – as in law, politics or when concluding a mobile phone contract. Well-known and proven/ felt as harmful content or packaging materials such as palm oil, plastic on fruits and vegetables or the countless additives for stabilization and flavor enhancement – you can dodge them easily after only a short read on the internet. With the conscious decision to the competing product you deliver a clear statement with your payment. This statement from a large number of people over a long period triggers a new kind of market and brand design – I’m 100% sure.

buying behavior

Only with collapsing turnovers the big companies will be forced to rethink – and if they decide against this, let the competition win market value. By consciously controlling our buying behavior, we are also changing the working conditions of the actual producers of our products, strengthening a sustainable economy and doing a small part to make the world a better place – even if its only for the coffee farmers in Colombia, the vegetable growers in Spain or the seamstress in Bangladesh – but the effort eventually comes back . What comes around, goes around.

Another thing is our personal attitude to our consumption behavior. We pay little attention to what lands on our plates, but we  (in parts!) know about the latest smartphone devices and yearn for the release of features, that the competition had built in years ago. However, marketing has convinced us, that these innovations are unprecedented. The fact, that a big company “stretches” the truth in order to gain sales is also logical. Also, walk through the food shelving in a supermarket with eyes open and consider, how far away this is from a sensory overload.

The poverty scissors

Our poverty gap is getting bigger, for one simple reason: Poverty causes more poverty. Rather than just buying a new mattress, you’d rather risk suffering from back problems the following year. But then, it’s almost impossible to work for the new mattress, as your back hurts – a simple example. As statistics show, less money means less education, which over the years and decades enhances the problem more and more and harms a healthy middle class.

For this, we also have the problem, that manager salaries are getting bigger, but the broad mass earns too little. Here fits a model that is called “Boiled Frog Syndrome”. In this mental experiment, put a live frog in a pot of water on a stove. The cold-blooded frog adjusts its temperature to the water. If you now slowly (!) heat the water, the frog does not notice the change and tries to adapt. As the temperature increases, however, adapting becomes more and more difficult, maybe painful. When the frog realizes, that his behavior is killing him, it is too late and he lacks the strength to jump out of the water.

Frog, stove or both

If you now reflect yourself and your previous life – in which situations were you the frog, in which the stove? As with everything in life, there are two sides to this story. In my opinion, we have to start and realize that life is more than money – but in our time a lot of people think differently and get into positions (in spite of, or rather due to, this life-despising attitude) where someone without self-love should never be. Why is it, that a corporation, that fully recognizes the “Human Rights on Water, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2010” is eroding people’s water supplies and dehydrating landscapes in poor countries? Incidentally, the Group  draws seven billion euros in profits from water trading, annually – is that normal?

Our media barely reports these things. However, if our mass media would insist, that such things come to light and the broad masses learn about it, unimaginable how quickly things would change – and the ratings would probably be far better and even deserved.

What is your opinion on this topic? I have described only a few basic features here. But I could fill a lot more pages about this topic. What do you think? Leave me a comment, write me an e-mail or a message via social media and feel free to share this article with your friends and family!

 

 

C-L Ludwig

 

 

 

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