Relax and be inspired
If you are visiting this website, chances are that it is because you still have faith in humanity. It is a good thing. This inspires us to look beyond appearances—however disheartening they might be—and gives us the strength we need to rely on what we know is our true nature as human beings. Before seeing how One Home Planet can help you do good and how you can help this website, let’s then take a step back to the real perspective for action.
Many people wish to be engaged one way or another for a better world, but there is so much to do, and on so many fronts, that it can easily seem overwhelming. Yet, contrary to what we are usually accustomed to thinking, how much or how little we do is not the most important thing. The quality of our intent is.
Just listen to great pioneers of social and political change such as Martin Luther King Jr., Gandhi, or Nelson Mandela. Their fight was not simply to fix what was broken around them but to understand why it was broken in the first place in order to repair it for good. This is the difference between being the righteous one whose moral crusade will very likely end up in frustration and, as Gandhi famously put it, being ourselves the change we want to see in the world.
Action is indispensable, but getting busy doing the right thing will never provide the meaning we seek in our life. And only this meaning will be our legacy to others; without it, the results of our actions will neither reach very far nor last very long. A very successful activist for peace, the Vietnamese Zen monk Thich Nath Han, expressed this with the genius of simplicity: “The way out is in.” His friend MLK never said anything else.
Spread the word
Dedicated to understanding the basic tenets of our collective failures and how to address them, One Home Planet humbly belongs to the legacy of these great leaders. For those who look for more than an emotional fix in their interaction with the world, it provides the opportunity to cultivate their critical thinking.
Sure enough, critical thinking is not activism in the common sense of organizing or demonstrating. But being able to say what it actually is that we say and why we say it is a crucial part of one’s civic involvement and certainly the first thing you and I need as concerned citizens. OHP, in that sense, might very well be an activist website of choice for you.
Though essential both at an individual and collective level, engaging in critical thinking is nothing fancy. It requires time, effort, and some quiet space to reflect on topics that are way past the last breaking news or the buzz trend of the moment. Not an easy sell. This is why your recommendation on social media or through personal contact is very much appreciated. By the nature of its content, this website will hardly ever benefit from a buzz effect and, unless you bring it to your friends’ attention, those who may benefit the most to stop by on its pages will never do.
But there is even more to it. Spreading the word about One Home Planet goes far beyond the website’s particular fate. Living in a hyper-connected world, we are over-fed with partial and dishonest “news” that sometimes amounts to outright lies. Though not a news outlet, One Home Planet modestly takes place in the independent media landscape, with all those doing their best to give the public some real food for thought. To better understand this mission you are also part of, we only need to remind ourselves of its proper context.
Corporate media or democracy
Most people get their political cues from what they see on TV or read on social media platforms. In both instances, democracy goes down the drain.
The corporate press (TV and newspapers “of reference”) has a business model running contrary to speaking truth to power. They give a voice to politicians who, for the most part, do the bidding of large companies financing their election campaigns. As these large companies also finance mainstream media through advertising money, each party of this triumvirate has a vested interest in helping the other two in return.
Being humans, the so-called “journalists” who serve this money-laundering scheme easily convince themselves that it is fully respectable and above public justification. They are vindicated in this position by the idea that they do not tell direct lies to the public. The issue, however, is not about denying that something has happened. In a more sophisticated way, the issue is about the particular framing of the event and, ultimately, about the specific assumptions that command this framing. This is where what Noam Chomsky has long characterized as “manufacturing consent” takes place.
Rather than manufacturing consent, corporate social media work on what could seem like the opposite—still, however, to the detriment of actual debate. To these platforms, you and I are the product. Data points crafting users’ profiles are collected in myriads of ways to be sold as laser-pointed information for advertising campaigns. To that aim, Facebook has notably specialized in triggering emotional reactions fitting the profile already known of each user, inciting them to stay longer on the platform and thus provide even more data points. This is undoubtedly good for Facebook’s advertising business but disastrous for democracy, as people end up siloed in the world vision they like best.
It is definitely a mission, then, to help people go toward independent media when you find one that has nothing to sell other than the quality of its work. Places where critical thinking genuinely matters are also where the audience’s judgment is taken seriously. All in all, this puts the media’s destiny into the right hands—theirs and yours.