What would get your "dislike" vote?
News today that Facebook is planning to introduce a "dislike" function to go along with its "like" button. It can sometimes seem that Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and the like have been with us forever, but in fact when Louise and I were in Mexico ten years ago none of them existed! Believe me you would have seen a lot more photos of me eating tacos if they had.
Nevertheless, these social media platforms have taken a firm grip on our lives and it would be interesting now to see what would happen if for some reason Facebook ceased to exist. Mass panic? Long, handwritten letters asking our nearest and dearest what they had eaten for breakfast, lunch and dinner? Or a slow return to a less 24/7 way of life? Who knows.
It's easy to pick a few things to "dislike" though. Half of the world's population live on less than $2.50 a day. Yet those 3.5+ billion people are collectively worth the same amount as the 85 richest people in the world, according to Oxfam. If that gives you pause for thought, here's another teaser to consider, from Robert Tressell's classic "The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists:"
"The only reason they have not monopolized the daylight and the air is that it is not possible to do it. If it were possible to construct huge gasometers and to draw together and compress within them the whole of the atmosphere, it would have been done long ago, and we should have been compelled to work for them in order to get money to buy air to breathe. And if that seemingly impossible thing were accomplished tomorrow, you would see thousands of people dying for want of air - or of the money to buy it - even as now thousands are dying for want of the other necessities of life. You would see people going about gasping for breath, and telling each other that the likes of them could not expect to have air to breathe unless the had the money to pay for it. Most of you here, for instance, would think and say so. Even as you think at present that it's right for so few people to own the Earth, the Minerals and the Water, which are all just as necessary as is the air. In exactly the same spirit as you now say: "It's Their Land," "It's Their Water," "It's Their Coal," "It's Their Iron," so you would say "It's Their Air," "These are their gasometers, and what right have the likes of us to expect them to allow us to breathe for nothing?""
Once you stop to think it can seem like there is a lot to "dislike" about the way we do things at the moment.
At Eighteen Rabbit we believe that fair trade is a small, but vital, part of the fight to make the world a better place. We won't change things overnight, but by fostering greater bonds and partnerships between people all over the world we believe that we can make this a better place to live. There's something to "like!"