THE CULTURAL TIGHTROPE
UNITY IS POWERFUL
hearing an optimistic voice about how as individuals we can effect change through our habits and behaviours is a breath of fresh air
I don’t know about you, but I found the interview with Coordi technical manager Anna Bardolet on pages 20-21 of this month’s issue – “Knowing there are alternatives is empowering” – a most gratifying read. In times when it is easy to feel overwhelmed by all the tragic news around us, from the effects of global warming on our planet to war in Europe to the plight of refugees to political and business scandals to… (well, the list seems endless, doesn’t it?), hearing an optimistic voice about how as individuals we can effect change through our habits and behaviours is a breath of fresh air.
Bardolet’s remarks echo a belief I have always held, since, despite the constant global, continental and national crises going on all around us, my own mantra has always been “try to have a positive effect on those closest to you – family, friends, acquaintances, colleagues, clients (it’s actually quite a big circle, when you think about it) – and the world will become a better place”. It has its similarities to The Serenity Prayer attributed to the American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr (1892–1971), which I make no apologies for quoting here:
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
courage to change the things I can,
and wisdom to know the difference.
According to Wikipedia, “Niebuhr’s prayer originally asked for courage first, and specifically for changing things that must be changed, not things that simply can be changed”, but I’ll leave you to delve deeper if you wish, let’s get back to Ms Bardolet.
When I read her comment “We can do things individually but we will have real power if we come together and act collectively. Grouping together, becoming volunteers, activists...” I am reminded of so many similarly-themed song lyrics that have stuck with me since my youth, from the simplest: “If the kids are united, then we’ll never be divided” by influential 70s punk band Sham 69 (mind you, they also penned “Come on, come on, Hurry up Harry, come on, We’re going down the pub, We’re going down the pub”) to the magnificent “Governments crack and systems fall, ’Cause unity is powerful, Lights go out, walls come tumbling down” by The Style Council. As an aside, if you’re not familiar with his work, Paul Weller’s lyrics have always brought light where there is darkness.
The gist of Bardolet’s message is that as individuals our behaviour does make a difference, but it is that much more powerful when united with others. The growth of sustainable clothing here in Catalonia is inspirational, and as individuals we can and will benefit the planet and future generations by participating in it, so I’ll take this opportunity to add my own grain of sand by encouraging all readers to support the local sustainable clothing sector and buy their clothes from the companies appearing on these pages and others of similar ilk.