Wi­thout blin­ders

The­re’s a dai­ly pat­ter of nas­ty truths hit­ting us, turning li­fe in our pros­pe­rous so­cie­ty in­to a per­ma­nent et­hi­cal-moral con­flict. SIE­GES­SÄU­LE chief editor Jan Noll won­ders how we can even de­al with it

Siegessaeule - - Tach Auch -

> Know­le­ge is po­wer. Whi­le this pla­ti­tu­de co­me across as tri­te by now, it ta­kes on new meaning in our all-en­com­pas­sing di­gi­tal in­for­ma­ti­on age, pres­su­ring us every day to ma­ke et­hi­cal and moral de­ci­si­ons. No mo­re shop­ping sprees, lun­ches or savo­r­ing any pri­vi­le­ges of Wes­tern ci­vi­liza­t­i­on wi­thout the bad af­ter­tas­te. We know too much; we know al­most ever­y­thing: We’ve se­en the pictures from fac­to­ry farms and slaught­er­hou­ses. We he­ar about the hor­ri­b­le con­di­ti­ons in the sweat­shops that the peop­le ma­king our clo­thes must face. The­se days, first and fo­re­most, we know all too well the ago­ni­zing jour­ney that re­fu­gees ma­ke to Eu­ro­pe and how ma­ny of them die in Me­di­ter­ra­ne­an wa­ters on the way. This kind of in­for­ma­ti­on was su­re­ly avail­able in the past for an­yo­ne who’d ta­ke initia­ti­ve to ac­cess it. To­day, though, it’s sim­ply im­pos­si­ble to hi­de from it. Even if you don’t watch TV or re­ad the pa­per, thanks to a mil­li­on sha­res on so­ci­al me­dia, the news about drow­ning child­ren or col­lap­sed tex­ti­le mills will still reach the com­fort of your li­ving room. It’s a bles­sing and a cur­se. It’s im­portant and good that this is hap­pe­ning, be­cau­se loo­king the ot­her way is shit, but this non­stop flow of in­for­ma­ti­on me­ans we must con­stant­ly ask our­sel­ves how to na­vi­ga­te th­rough a din of truths. It’s got­ten to the po­int that we’re ba­si­cal­ly in a sta­te of con­ti­nuous con­flict. Can we still throw on our H&M th­reads, or­der a cheap piz­za and go see a mo­vie if we know that the ba­sis for the­se plea­su­res is the suf­fe­ring of others? If we know that at the bor­ders of our pros­pe­rous so­cie­ty, peop­le are dy­ing? Of cour­se we of­ten ha­ve to shut out most of this know­le­ge in ever­y­day li­fe – it’s a sort of psy­cho­lo­gi­cal co­ping mecha­nism. But it’s get­ting har­der all the ti­me. The wa­ve of vol­un­te­ers hel­ping with the re­fu­gee cri­sis pro­ves that so­me peop­le can’t de­al with the blin­ders any­mo­re. But even as so ma­ny peop­le ha­ve step­ped in to pro­vi­de re­lief, the­re’s are so ma­ny mo­re peop­le who don’t know how to chan­nel their ur­ge to help. With jobs, re­la­ti­ons­hips and fa­mi­lies, they might not ha­ve the ti­me to work at LAGeSo. And that’s OK, be­cau­se hel­ping is not on­ly about grand ge­stu­res. Lucki­ly, our di­gi­tal world al­so ma­kes it sim­ple to gi­ve, even if it’s just do­na­ting a laug­ha­b­ly small amount of mo­ney via an app. We need to start so­mew­he­re – that’s the smal­lest pri­ce we should be wil­ling to pay for our own prop­se­ri­ty. < Trans­la­ti­on: Jo­ey Han­som

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