The way I see it: Stand up and be counted 1



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Frank Herbert once said: “There is no real ending… It’s just the place where you stop the story.”

Of late, there have been more and more posts on social media, namely Facebook, relating to cruelty to animals, our environment and social justice.

Most of us just hit the ‘Like’ button because we really don’t give a crap! We just want to keep the peace?

A generalisation you might say?

Well, I don’t think so! We tend to go with the flow…

Me included. I just hit ‘Like’ and hope I won’t get another post like this… If I continue to get such posts, well, I tend to either hide them, or, if the person continues, I’ll block them. Unfortunately, this doesn’t seem to get rid of them — these are people on a mission. A mission to stamp their footprint across all forms of social media! Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat etc.

Topics currently ‘hot’ right now are Trump versus Clinton.

Yep, we all know this one!

Then there’s the plight of children around the world, the focus on war torn zones.

Human and animal cruelty. Indigenous rights.

There’s the environment and a thousand other pressing issues that have been around for many years. These are now thrust in my face, yours too, on a daily basis. (Photoshop is a powerful tool.)

Now, here’s the thing, over the years, I’ve been involved in a number of causes… I’ve advocated for individual and equal rights, especially for those with a disability. I’ve championed the cause for our indigenous people, stood against GMO, protested against animal cruelty. The list goes on.

In my own way, I’ve been active, talking about these concerns in the public arena. I have not stood out, but I’ve plodded along in my own little way.

As a talk host, I had an opportunity most don’t get. I could interview numerous people and promote their cause, to a degree.

Suddenly, the powers that be, decided there was too much content around this and I needed to focus on more topical issues of the day.

I conformed and like everyone else and became another puppet, doing as I was told. Most of what I was passionate about did not stop… The cruel treatment of animals continued, treatment of fellow human beings disgusted me.

It got worse, racism increased, the corporates like Monsanto, drug companies like Pfizer became more and more powerful.

The combined profits for the 10 drug companies in the Fortune 500, in 2002, totalled $35.9 billion — this was more than the profits for all the other 490 businesses put together that totalled $33.7 billion — Randall F. Fitzgerald (The Hundred-Year Lie).

It would be fair to say that somewhere along the way, I lost interest.

Like a lot of other people, I believed I was just banging my head against a brick wall. I no longer had the energy to continue.

It becomes a little scary when we think about it.

Social media’s been around for a long time.

Long before Al Gore claimed “he took the initiative in creating it”. In fact, the internet — and its predecessors — was a focal point for social interactivity. Granted, computer networking was in its infancy, but it was a great forum for discussing mutual topics of interest, perhaps even meeting or renewing acquaintances with other humans.

In the 1970s, that process began in earnest.

Today, it’s in our face, nothing’s sacred. I am not going to dwell on the negativity that’s thrust upon us on a daily, no, hourly basis. Actually, make that instantly. I want to focus on some of the good that social media can do. It allows us to champion a cause.

Instead of deleting, I began to read some of the information that I was being sent. I learned about glued meat; processed sausage; chicken nuggets; caged animals, the slaughter of Minke whales and much more…

Not that I wasn’t already aware, but like many others, I think I had had my head somewhat planted firmly in the sand. I look at the way whales, one of the most beautiful creatures on this planet, are being slaughtered, wildlife being killed for sport, forests destroyed… It saddens me, what legacy are we leaving for our grandchildren and their children?

All of Mother Nature’s cures being driven more and more by corporate greed and profit.

I recall the Mel Gibson movie Apocalypto about the Mayan kingdom in the height of its opulence and power; it portrayed how the foundations of the empire began to crumble. It told the story of a people living in harmony with nature… Then, civilised man came along.

So, the simple question here is, are you prepared to stand up and be counted?

What do you think about what Brian has to say? Is there a cause you have stood for?

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Brian Portland

Broadcast Journalist.. Australasian Correspondent FSN Washington & London. Speech Writer..Motivational Speaker.. Production Voice Specialist.. Creative Writer.. (Speech, Print, Radio & Television) Double above knee amputee.. Motivational Speaker..(Available for any speaking engagement..)

  1. Thank you for this article. I agree with what you say. I feel so sad for the planet and its animals and natural beauty which is controlled, by greed and wealth. I do sign petitions and read the articles and write to politicians and when able donate to what I consider to be a worthy cause. However a lot of people do not act as they don’t like acknowledging its existence when they read about the increasing cruelty to animals not only in the wild but in factory farming and live export. The laws of Australia on how it treats its native animals are disgusting. However, we have to stop living with this false belief that everything is wonderful if our grandchildren are going to grow up in a decent world. We have to all start reading about the cruelty and destruction and the dying great barrier reef, and the use of chemicals that is destroying the honey Bee, the destruction of forests and all the other things we don’t want to know exist. Then we have to sign the petitions and write to our local member of parliament and support those wonderful organisations and people who strive for change against the greed and shortsightedness and desire for personal wealth.

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