This morning I woke up and all I could think about was my recent visit to the supermarket.
During my visit, you couldn’t find an egg or a loaf of bread. The shelves were so barren you’d be hard-pressed to find a bread crumb or a speck of lint on them.
I was disappointed, but not shocked.
That is until I approached an employee at the supermarket, and we got into a conversation:
Me: “Hi, I’m just wondering, what time do you get deliveries?
I’d love to come around that time and get some groceries.”
Employee: “We get deliveries at 10 pm daily.”
Me: “Brilliant, I’ll come back then.”
Employee: “Sir, we normally open 24 hrs a day, but we close at 10 pm when the deliveries arrive.
We open at 5 am and get greeted by 3,000 people who clean out the shelves.”
I tried to hide my reaction and no doubt failed. I’ve never been great at that. Why would today be any different?
I thanked the person for informing me, wished them well and walked away.
I was beginning to process this. I was beyond disappointment at this stage. I’ll come back to what I felt later.
I made a point on this trip only to buy what I need for the next few days. Maybe I’m dumb and I’ll suffer later.
But I see things differently in 2020.
Every action I take is a vote for the person I want to be.
Every action I take is also a vote for the kind of society I want to live in.
If we all just took what we needed; everyone would have enough.
However, I no longer judge or blame people. During my life, I’ve learned that it’s institutions, structures, and ideologies that govern our behaviour.
We suffer from a zero-sum game scarcity mentality that capitalism has instilled into us.
We’re like a rag soaked in kerosene. The fear that the Corona Virus / Covid19 has unleashed is the match. It is burning through supplies in supermarkets.
When I woke up this morning, I recounted this anecdote to my friend Christian, and it hit me. I realised the feeling I’ve been grappling with, watching people buy up everything in sight at supermarkets without a second thought about the vulnerable in society.
It was rage. I felt rage. A numbing rage.
In spite of the rage, I will continue to vote for the person I want to be.
I will continue to vote for the society I want to live in.
It will begin with my own actions at the supermarket in the midst of the current chaos.
4 thoughts on “Vote for the Society You Want”
Yeah it’s a bit mad, amazingly the shops round me seem to have escaped this chaos
Yeah, South London where I live has not been so lucky. Quite hard to get a lot of essentials to be honest. I hope people can be more measured with their purchasing habits as there really is plenty to go around as long other people don’t panic and get greedy.
Beautiful piece of writing. Looking forward to read more
Thank you Habib. Hope you’re well. I’ve written a new piece at:
How I Wrestled My Ego to The Mat (And Won)