Tuesday, February 13, 2007

A Rose By Any Other Name

Moreover, if you buy the Kenyan roses, you’ll be investing in the employment of 70,000 Kenyan women. Okay, it won’t be a very big investment on its own, but, a nation’s worth of rose-buyers has more impact…

…On the other hand, there is insufficient regulation of the working conditions of those 70,000 women. And the rose farms divert precious water away from farms that grow crops that Kenyans can eat…

Isaac Newton said that to every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. He was wrong. To every action – buying roses, for example – there are multiple reactions – or consequences – of varying impact, some of them totally disproportional to the action taken.

Doing the right thing is not necessarily straight-forward. But what we don’t have the luxury of doing is carrying on without thinking about the consequences of even our simplest actions – such as the food we eat. At the very least we need to make informed choices. And beyond that, we may even want to find ways of shaping the big picture.

However you choose to mark, or not, Valentine’s Day tomorrow, I hope that you will know expressed shared love with at least one other person. It costs nothing – and you’ll both be the richer for it.

UPDATE: Kester Brewin has some great thoughts on how to escape the labyrinth of inaction through living symbolically here.

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