Recently, I’ve become acutely aware of how we all get sucked into accepting or ignoring things which go against our personal values, because of the selfish gains we have from doing so. We have some very astute organisations out there that create for themselves a place in our lives and become almost indispensable. And then they stretch the boundaries of decency to suit their own ends – usually good profit margins – and we go along with it because they do make our lives easier.
This can range from banks – ‘too big to fail’ – that helped cause the financial crisis ten years ago and still behave in similar ways, to companies that exploit their workers to offer us cheap products and services and avoid paying fair tax, and even to the organisations we work for – we have a job so accept the bullying, over-stretching, the drive for profit at all costs.
I don’t say this from a place of moral high ground. I still use Amazon, Sky, and no doubt other organisations whose behaviour I would object to if I found out more about it. I’m just raising the question, because it bothers me.
After long conversations around it, I have decided to delete my Facebook account, as has my son, and our company page as well. The description, in the TV programme Dispatches, of their acceptance of groups with extreme views, and those who post extreme cruelty and violence, because such things are supported by a lot of people who stay on for long enough to make the advertisers add to the company profit – that was a step too far for me. But it is relatively easy for me to do – they don’t have me pulled in as far as they have with many. I don’t have much of a presence there anyway. I don’t use it to advertise my wares, or to keep in touch with people.
So I’m left asking myself to what extent I am willing to do without the convenience of using organisations whose values I regard as unethical, in order to maintain my own values. At the least, I hope I can be conscious enough of the issue to avoid any more of them sneaking into my life and becoming too useful to let go of.
I want to play my part in helping to make this world we live in a better place and I’ll keep having a go. It’s all we can do I guess – take the steps we can to challenge the norm of accepting compromise on our values for the sake of convenience.