So then a friend questioned my commitment. "For more than fifteen years you work for the environmental issue, how then you survive with your smoking habits? If you committed to the environment, you firstly should give up your bad habit!" Aside from semantic debate of that question, I won't be indifferent to that question and questions perhaps often raised by evangelists or Islamic hardliners. "If you do this, so you can't do that. And if you're that, so you can't do this," type of dogmatic statement and/or question.
I'd rather to counter the question by putting first the thorough atmosphere of our middle-class paradigm, particularly the raising new intellectual and critical urban and well informed group of young people, in the reality of an understanding of life's material progress and happiness. A new Nokia's PDA, a new gadget, a new software, a new elegant buzzword and terminology, a new indicator of advancement, a new social status, etc.. But, what's all about? Selfishness and strong desire for a acknowledgement and recognition!
I remember a paragraph from Graham Hancock's Lords of Poverty. I interpret that as "industrialized countries' originated development workers will put tenun-ikat and batik's ornament on wall of their house or apartment to show that they're belong to a new class of global societies of the development." They perhaps did noble activities down there in Uganda or Boznia or Tanzania or East Timor or Indonesia or else, whether on voluntary basis or as highly paid trainers or consultants hired by the development consulting agents under of what-so-called global development assistances' scheme. And perhaps they don't have bad intention and simply want to show off their particular, and far from the grandeur's strategy of global control over production and consumption imposed by complicated web of capital and power commonly represented by anything thing of multinationals, internationals, transnational, global, etc..
Excuse me, friends, I must catch my jet-So here we go. Crowds of people with consciousness of a better world and tireless of preaching about a new world with high taste of aesthetics, justice and peace. It's not about lifestyle. I'd rather call this a fast growing cult. And I certainly am not be able and can't afford to join the set. So, those who still love of having plastic flower in their pots, love instant coffee, smoke cigarettes, don't have any idea about wide variety of exotic Asian foods, and other low taste life style, welcome to our home. A home for low caste of smokers....
I'm off to join the Development Set;
My bags are packed, and I've had all my shots,
I have travelers' checks, and pi;;s for the trots
The Development Set is bright and noble,
Our thoughts are deep and our vision global;
Although we move with the better classes,
Our thoughts are always with the masses.
In Sheraton hotels in scattered nations,
We damn multinational corporations;
Injustice seems so easy to protest,
In such seething hotbeds of social rest.
We discuss malnutrition over steaks
And plan hunger talks during coffee breaks.
Whether Asian floods or African drought,
We face each issue with an open mouth.
We bring in consultants whose circumlocution
Raises difficulties for every solution-
Thus guaranteeing continued good eating
By showing the need for another meeting.
The language of the Development Set
Stretches the English alphabet;
We use swell eords like 'epigenetic',
'Micro', 'Macro'. and 'logarithmetic'.
Development Set homes are extremely chic,
Full of carvings, curios and draped with batik.
Eye-level photographs subtly assure
That your host is at home with the rich and the poor.
Enough of these verses -- on with the mission!
Our task is as broad as the human condition!
Just parry to God the biblical promise is true:
The poor ye shall always have with you.
(The Development Set, from Graham Hancock's book "Lords of Poverty").