Vote for the Society You Want

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”

    1. 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.

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