A few days ago I spent almost three hours at Chicagos OHara airport. My husband and I were expecting travelers at the international terminal and we had enough time to see the world go by. There were a lot people arriving from India, Pakistan, Korea, Japan and many planes from Mexico. Most people were different shades of brown and there were almost no Caucasians around.
That led us to think about a world where diversity is the rule and not the exception.
It was wonderful to watch people arriving with different dresses and bags. Not all of them were excited to be here, but nevertheless they were here. One could hear different languages and many people speaking English when they had to communicate with people different from their group.
They looked proud of their origin, their skin color and their outfits. They were immersed in arriving, meeting others and going someplace.
United States in particular and America in general has become the blending place of peoples from many backgrounds. They all arrived from foreign territories at one point in time looking for a new way of life.
People who have come from far away have tried to keep their traditions and even their language, but after sometime they have married into different cultures and have to use English as the common language to understand each other just like those new arrivals at the airport.
I do not think any of those newcomers would readily agree to trade their clothing and language immediately for new ones. Nor would they want to eat food like at McDonalds, even if it is the only place to eat at the terminal.
How can we change into an exploring attitude where it would be a pleasant adventure to learn from each other? How can we change the commercial way of looking at things just from the point of view of profit and switch to an interest for people, art and culture?
It is in the interest of big corporations to have a very homogenous clientele, so that they can massively sale any and all products to more people. When we have big masses of people who think the same and want the same we can alter even natures products to make more profit.
That is one of the reasons why we can have apples and oranges at any time, and they all taste the same. They have been genetically altered to satisfy the packing and shipping needs of the big companies.
Once more I would like to salute the bravest people in US. They are the small farmers who do not have the media on their side, nor any marketing strategy, and they are trying very hard to change the face of this country one town at a time.
When you go to a farmers market you are saying: This comes from this land and I appreciate it. This peach has a distinct flavor and size from this region. I would love to one day taste a peach from India, but not at the expense of the farmers there, or paying for the middleman, the packer, and shipper to bring it here.
When I buy locally, I am saying: I respect this land, and the land of others far away, who will not have to continue ruining their soil in order to commercialize their products.
What you are really saying is: I care for this land, this people, my neighbors and I want to make it possible for others far away to have that same relationship to each other, to the land and with us.
Common people can make a difference: one person at a time, one product at a time, one town at a time.